Has the economy really recovered? Wages are the big story, and Jared Bernstein has everything you ever want to know here. But in case you just want the nickel version, here it is:
Since 2014, hourly wages have gone up 1.6 percent per year for all employees and 1.5 percent per year for production and nonsupervisory employees. The Employment Cost Index, which includes benefits, has increased even less.
The real question, however, is whether we’re seeing any acceleration in wages. It sure doesn’t look like it to me. If you squint, you can see that wage growth is slightly higher since the start of 2017, but that’s entirely due to inflation slowing down to zero. Employers haven’t quite caught on to that yet, but they will.