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A Measure of Core Wage Inflation

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Abstract

We recover the persistent (“core”) component of nominal wage growth over the past twenty-five years in the United States. Our approach combines worker-level data with time-series smoothing methods and can disentangle the common persistence of wage inflation from the persistence specific to some subgroup of workers, such as workers in a specific industry. We find that most of the business cycle fluctuations in wage inflation are persistent and driven by a common factor. This common persistent factor is particularly important during inflationary periods, and it explains 80 to 90 percent of the post-pandemic surge in wage inflation. Contrary to standard measures of wage inflation, the persistent component of wage inflation contemporaneously co-moves with labor market tightness.

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  • Richard Audoly & Martín Almuzara & Davide Melcangi, 2023. "A Measure of Core Wage Inflation," Staff Reports 1067, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fednsr:96479
    Note: Revised January 2024.
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    wage inflation; persistence; factor models;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • C33 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Multiple or Simultaneous Equation Models; Multiple Variables - - - Models with Panel Data; Spatio-temporal Models
    • E24 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Employment; Unemployment; Wages; Intergenerational Income Distribution; Aggregate Human Capital; Aggregate Labor Productivity

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