Over the past 10 years, nonfarm unit labor costs have increased 1.20% p.a. Thatís a 2.44% rise in hourly costs and a 1.23% rise in productivity. In manufacturing, it was 0.38% annual rise, based on a 2.35% increase in hourly costs and a 1.97% rise in productivity.

If youíre playing along at home, thatís a +0.9% p.a. increase in real nonfarm wages, and a 0.8% rise in those for manufacturing (Iíve used the PCE deflator for inflation). On a CPI basis, itís +0.7% p.a. and +0.6%, respectively.

Over the last two years, real nonfarm wages rose 2.2% p.a. and those for manufacturing 2.3% p.a.

. . .

Mr Trump thinks he inherited a mess from Obama?

In the first 41 weeks of President Obamaís tenure, weekly unemployment claims averaged 51.2% higher than a year earlier. In the subsequent 377 weeks, 10.2% lower. If having a lower claims rate than a year earlier was a job approval rating, during those 377 weeks Ė when a mere 18 weeks were higher than a year ago, Mr Obama would have had a 95% approval rating.