NV Weekly Wage Historical High Means Little in Purchasing Power

Posted on by & filed under Nevada by the Numbers Blog.

Nevada’s weekly wages for the first quarter of 2014 were $867, which is the highest first quarter reading on record, according to a press release late last week from the Nevada Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation (DETR). The 2.7 percent gain from last year’s first quarter reading represents the third strongest gain during the post-recession period, said DETR.

When adjusting for inflation, though, the first quarter high is equivalent to $785 in start-of-recession (Q4, 2007) dollars, according to RCG calculations. Despite growth during the last four quarters, this means the purchasing power of Nevada’s average weekly wage is still at 2007 levels.

The U-3 unemployment rate has been cut nearly in half from its recessionary high, and year-over-year job gains have been recorded in each of the past 43 months. However, wage gains have been sluggish overall, averaging just a bit above one percent annually over the 2011-2013 period.