Wages of Inconsistency at the Times

Jeremy Peters' online filing Friday afternoon, "Economy Adds More Jobs in August Than in July," follows in the footsteps of the Times' discredited lead-story claim from Monday that wages for U.S. workers aren't keeping up with productivity.

"The economy added more jobs in August than it did in July, and the national unemployment rate ticked down a tenth of a point. But the average American worker is logging fewer hours on the job and wage gains are minimal, according to new statistics released today.

"In its monthly employment report, the Labor Department said today that private employers created a net 128,000 nonfarm jobs in August. That is a slight improvement on the revised figure of 121,000 for July, though still too few to keep up with population growth."

Only yesterday, the Times' David Leonhardtdid some instant revisionism on its Mondayfront-page story (cowritten by Leonhardt) that asserteda pattern of declining wages, conceding "new evidence of a surge in wage-and-salary income in the first half of this year" with pay up "at an annual pace around 7 percent after adjusting for inflation."

Now the paper seems to be back on track with its favorite line, one Democrats are sure to pushin November: Wages for U.S. workers are stagnant.