Business: Pay Squeeze

The frustrating feeling shared by many Americans that their incomes are going up but their spending power is slipping got some additional statistical support last week. Take-home pay rose briskly in August, the Labor Department reported, and the average production worker with three dependents pocketed precisely $182.49, up 5.1% from a year ago. But inflation has made a mockery of the increase, and in fact Mr. Average is 2.5% poorer than he was last year and near ly 4.5% poorer than in 1972. Back then, his take-home pay of $121.68 was worth $96.80 in 1967 dollars. In...

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