Raw Data: Wages for Ordinary Workers

For some reason there’s been a lot of chatter lately about wages finally going up after eight years of economic expansion. Really?

For ordinary workers, wages went up in 2015 and 2016 but have been pretty flat in 2017. In December their wages increased a whopping 0.17 percent compared to the previous year. That doesn’t seem very impressive to me.

Wage growth for all workers has gone up slightly more—0.38 percent in December—but that’s still nothing to write home about. And anyway, that includes wage growth for everyone, including doctors and lawyers and CEOs. My own view is that the economy is doing well when ordinary workers see wage gains, so that’s what I look at. And there’s just no there there for 2017.