Data Suggest Wage Gains Could Be Only Statistical
Yesterday, I found no signs of the "statistical illusion"-explanation after having studied data sector-wise. However, after having today studied other tables, I did find one that gave some support for it. Namely, the one that sub-divided employment and unemployment according to educational status. While there are many individual exceptions to this rule, it is generally the case that people with a high level of education earn more than people with a low level of education. And so, educational level could be used as a proxy for earnings.
As it happens, employment for high school drop-outs fell dramatically in November, while employment for those with only a high school diploma also fell significantly. Meanwhile employment for those with "some college" (less than a bachelor's degree) rose slightly and employment for those with a bachelor's degree or more was unchanged.
While not completely conclusive, it does give support for the "statistical illusion" hypothesis.