Sep 27, 2018

Fed chair Powell says inclusive wage calculations are better

Federal Reserve Board Chairman Jerome Powell arrives for a news conference on September 26, 2018. Photo: Mark Wilson/Getty Images

Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell said at a news conference on Wednesday that "broader" measurements of income are better, but declined to comment on the White House's alternate proposal to calculate wage growth.

Flashback: Powell called tepid wage growth puzzling in recent months. The Council of Economic proposed its own methodology — accounting for non-cash benefits (bonuses, paid time off and health benefits) and a different measurement of inflation — which showed strong wage growth. That was before paychecks grew in August at a rate we haven't seen in almost a decade.

The Fed monitors a range of wage indicators. Speaking to reporters after the Fed announced it would raise rates for the third time this year, Powell cited accelerating pay as an example of a "particularly bright moment" for the economy. But some analysts argue that higher rates could erase any wage gains consumers have seen.

  • "Wage growth — finally it has accelerated a bit, but it's still a shadow of its former self. Especially after adjusting for inflation, which has picked up," Diane Swonk, chief economist at Grant Thornton, told NPR.

What to watch: The September jobs report next week, when we'll get another read of paycheck growth (and possibly, a revision of last month's number.)

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In photos: We've seen images like the protests in Minneapolis before

Photo: Kerem Yucel/AFP/MPI/Getty Images

The photos of protests around the country following the death of George Floyd during an encounter with Minneapolis police are hauntingly familiar. We’ve seen them many times before, going back decades.

Why it matters: "What is also unmistakable in the bitter protests in Minneapolis and around the country is the sense that the state is either complicit or incapable of effecting substantive change," Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor, an assistant professor of African-American studies at Princeton University writes in the New York Times. The images that follow make all too clear how little has changed since the modern Civil Rights Movement began in the 1950s.

Updated 5 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 11 a.m. ET: 5,968,693— Total deaths: 365,796 — Total recoveries — 2,520,587Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 11 a.m. ET: 1,749,846 — Total deaths: 102,900 — Total recoveries: 406,446 — Total tested: 16,099,515Map.
  3. Economy: The future of mobility in the post-pandemic worldGeorge Floyd's killing and economic calamity are both part of America's unfinished business.
  4. Supreme Court: Chief Justice Roberts sides with liberals in denying challenge to California's pandemic worship rules.
  5. Public health: Hydroxychloroquine prescription fills exploded in March.
  6. 2020: North Carolina asks RNC if convention will honor Trump's wish for no masks or social distancing.
  7. Business: Fed chair Powell says coronavirus is "great increaser" of income inequality.

The aftermath of George Floyd's death: Everything you need to know

A mural outside Cup Foods in Minneapolis, near where George Floyd was killed in an encouner with police. Photo: Steel Brooks/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin is in jail under $500,000 bail on charges of third-degree murder and manslaughter after a video of him kneeling on George Floyd's neck for more than eight minutes and Floyd's death catapulted the country's major cities into a state of protest.

The big picture: Floyd's fatal run-in with police is the latest reminder of the disparities between black and white communities in the U.S. and comes as African Americans grapple with higher death rates from the coronavirus and higher unemployment from trying to stem its spread.