“The average American worker is still waiting for the promised economic boom,” according to a recent Vox.comreport.
TV news anchors may talk up the so-called strong economic data -- especially when it comes to historically low unemployment and so-called positive wage growth. But what does this amount to for TV marketers?
In 2018, reports cited wage growth of 3%. But actual wage growth -- when factoring in inflation and cost of living -- is only up 1.9% over the last year.
And when looking at the the bigger picture, real wage growth has fallen 9% since 2006 -- with the Great Recession starting in 2009.
But it’s actually worse than that. After adjusting for inflation, today’s average hourly wage has just about the same purchasing power it did in 1978, according to a Pew Research Center report in August 2018.
What did the Trump Administration tax cut do?
Just a sugar-high for consumers and corporations alike. For many companies, the tax hike gave them a one-time profitable kick. But quarterly financials have receded.
Consumers aren’t any better off. According to a Gallup Poll earlier this year, nearly half — 48% — of Americans say they believe economic conditions are worsening, up from 45% in December and 36% in November.
Yet financial news networks CNBC, Bloomberg and Fox Business don't focus on this reality. Why? Their perspective is virtually always about hard-core active investors, with a lesser focus on everyday workers who own more passive 401(k)s and IRAs.
Here's the news: The U.S. has historically low unemployment, 3.6% in April, with real GDP up 3.2% in the first quarter of 2019. Real wage growth in 2018? Up an eye-popping 1.9%! Does that make sense?
And what does this mean financially for TV news networks -- and TV networks overall?
TV marketers are now looking to make key spending decisions for the upfront advertising market. Will consumers have more money to spend ? If so, TV advertisers might need to buy more TV -- or other premium digital media?
This season, continue to scratch your heads, again, over financials, micro- and macro-data, as well as longer-term big TV media spend data -- $20 billion in upfront prime time and $30 billion for all upfront dayparts.
It's just economic-financial data at work -- on screen and off.