BLS Just "Revised" Away Obama's "Fastest" Wage Growth Since The Crisis

Back February 2016, Obama took to the stage at a press conference to boast about job growth and "most importantly" how the stronger job market was "finally starting to translate into bigger paychecks."  He also took the opportunity to jab at Republicans saying the strong jobs data was "inconvenient for Republican stump speeches" as they continued their "doom and despair tour."  Obama's specific comments were:

Most importantly, this progress is finally starting to translate into bigger paychecks.  Over the past six months, wages have grown at their fastest rate since the crisis.  And the policies that I’ll push this year are designed to give workers even more leverage to earn raises and promotions.


So, as I said at my State of the Union address, the United States of America, right now, has the strongest, most durable economy in the world.  I know that’s still inconvenient for Republican stump speeches as their doom and despair tour plays in New Hampshire.  I guess you cannot please everybody.

The comments can be viewed in their entirety here:

Turns out that revisions to historical real wage growth figures issued by the Bureau of Labor Statistics yesterday are actually fairly "inconvenient" for Obama.  Time to get the band back together for a reunion of that "doom and despair" tour. 

In yet another stunning tribute to the "accuracy" and "consistency" of economic propagandadata being reported by our government agencies, the Bureau of Labor Statistics yesterday reported a massive downward revision of the 1Q 2016 YoY real wage growth from +4.2% to -0.4% (a 4.6% swing)

But we wouldn't worry much about it because the revisions resulted in only "small" changes in the underlying data according to the BLS:

Indexes of all hours-related measures in the business, nonfarm business, and nonfinancial corporate sectors show historical revisions because hours in the base year of 2009 were revised; resulting revisions to percent changes are small.

We guess "small" would be one way to describe a 4.6% swing in YoY real wage growth...we would probably choose something more like "abysmal" or "disastrous" but we're not ones to split hairs.  Revisions to manufacturing wages and durable manufacturing wages were even worse.  Real manufacturing YoY wage growth was revised from +2.8% to -4.3% (a 7.1% swing) while real durable manufacturing YoY wage growth was revised from +1.9% to -5.6% (a 7.5% swing).

1Q16 Payroll Revision


Adding to the "inconvenience," 2Q 2016 real wage growth didn't look much better declining -1.1% QoQ.

2Q Payroll


Proving that economic data is extremely "reliable," a look back at the longer term history shows that large quarterly revisions occurred all the way back to 2Q 2013.

Unit Labor

We're eagerly awaiting Obama's press conference where he is expected to discuss these 1Q 2016 revisions.  After all, as Obama has pointed out many times in the past, data that might look bad for his Presidency is typically not really that bad at's just that he needs to explain it in a way that we can all understand it.  We're looking forward to the explanation on this one.