Page 8-Friday, May 30, 1980-The Michigan Daily
Average annual wages up 8%;
actual buying power down 5%
earnings of American families rose 8
per cent in the past year to $395 a week,
but their dollars were worth 5 per cent
less because of surging inflation, the
government reported yesterday.
Between 'March 1979 and this past
March, median family earnings rose by
$30 a week, from $365, but the increase
was more than offset by a 14 per cent
jump in consumer prices, the Labor
FOR INDIVIDUALS, median weekly
earnings rose 9 per cent over the year,
from $238 a week to $260 a week, but
because of inflation, their real earnings
declined by 4 per cent, the department
Families headed by women came
closest to keeping up with inflation,
with their earnings rising by 12 per
cent. But their median income of $220 a
week remained very low compared
with $428 for husband-wife families and
$350 for families maintained by men.
The average earnings figures also
are called the median because half of
the nation's 40.5 million working
families are above that figure and half
are below it.
THE DEPARTMENT'S Bureau of
Labor Statistics also reported further
increases in the number of dual-earner
families, as more Americans sought
jobs to try to keep up with inflation. The
number of families with two or more
members working rose by 249,000
during the year to 21.1 million, while the
number of single-worker families
declined by 143,000 to 19.4 million.
The buying power of families with
two members working fell 4 per cent
during the past year, while the pur-
chasing power of families with only one
earner dropped 7 per cent, the statistics
Over the long haul, the one-earner
family's battle against inflation ap-
pears to have resulted in a stand-off.
The government estimates that the
buying power of a male worker with a
non-working wife and two children has
remained essentially where it was in
IN A SEPARATE report based on a
different survey, the department said
that wages for workers in the private
non-farm economy rose 9.1 per cent
during the 12 months ending in March,
the largest annual increase since the
government initiated the survey five
years ago. The previous record in-
crease of 8.7 per cent came during the
12 months ending in December.
The report, called the Employment
Cost Index, said base wage and salary
rates rose by an average of 2.4 per cent
during the first three months of this
year, compared with a 2 per cent rise
during the same period in 1979.
The report also found that total
worker compensation-wages and
fringe benefits-rose 2.7 per cent
during the first quarter of this year.
The addition of fringe benefits to the in-
dex was a new feature that will be in-
corporated regularly into future repor-
THE LABOR Department's survey of
family earnings alsosreported the
following developments among full-
" Men earned an average $316 a
week, up 9 per cent from the year
before, while women averaged $200 a
week, a 10 per cent increase. That
means the average woman earns 63 per
cent of what a man makes.
"Weekly earnings for whites rose .10
per cent to an average $268; for blacks,
9 per cent to $213; and for Hispanics, 10
per cent to $212.
" Earnings of white men rose 9 per
cent to $324, while earnings of black
men increased just 5 per cent to $239
and earnings of Hispanic men rose 6 per
cent to $236 a week. As a result, the
wage gap between white and minority
The earnings gap betweeen white
and minority women, however,
narrowed. Earnings for white women
rose 10 per cent to $202; for blacks, 11
per cent to $186; and for Hispanics, 18
per cent to $175.
The report noted that women part-
time workers make more on the
average than - men part-time
workers-$73 a week and $65 a week,
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By GREG DAVIS
Pamela Lemerand, a University doc-
toral- candidate in educational
psychology, recently received the 1980
Michigan Occupational Therapy
Association's Outstanding Occupational
The award recognizes her "outstan-
ding proficiency in her particular
duties as an occupational therapist"
during 1979, and is based on "quality,
proficiency, and contributions of that
therapist during that particular year."
LEMERAND, WHO is employed by
the Western Wayne County Learning
Center, said her job involves "working
with handicapped children, facilitating
their neuro-muscular or sensory
deposits so that they can function as in-
dependently as possible in their
Robert Dietiker, director of the lear-
ning center, called Lemerand's award
"a significant accomplishment for her
as a professional. She's certainly a
respected person in the field of oc-
The learning center is a regional
special education service operated by
the Livonia public school system.
Lemerand said she travels to schools in
the area, conducting in-service
workshops for occupational therapists.
Lemerand said she has a strong in-
terest in children and all aspects of
their social, emotional, and cognitive
processes. "Knowing these," she said,
"enables one to put together all the par-
ts of the child so you can assist people in
the evaluation and comprehension of
children, and be able to plan
She said her work in the area led to
the award, as did her philosophy. "Oc-
cvpational therapists have a respon-
sibility to their clients and each other to
disseminate information," Lemerand
said. "This includes not only technique,
but everything about the practice of oc-
cupational therapy and the practice of
delivering the service."
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Tomorrow: THE LAST WAVE