Are Wages Finally Going Up? Sure, For Some People.

Are wages finally going up? Let’s skip the anecdotal nonsense, shall we? Here are the numbers since the end of the Great Recession:

GDP per capita has gone up 1.5 percent per year since 2009, accelerating to 2 percent over the past year. That’s not bad. America is getting richer, and over the past year has gotten richer at a faster pace.

But it’s a different story for nonsupervisory workers, who make up 70 percent of the labor force. Their earnings have gone up 0.7 percent per year since 2009, accelerating decelerating to 0.6 percent in the past year. This includes the broad working and middle classes, but doesn’t include the college-educated upper middle classes and the rich.

From a macro point of view, wages are finally picking up some steam. That suggests some labor tightness and it’s something for the Fed to consider when they set interest rates. But for all the ordinary working stiffs, 2017 has been a pretty meh kind of year. All those extra riches are going someplace else.

HERE ARE THE FACTS:

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ONE MORE QUICK THING:

Our fall fundraising drive is off to a rough start, and we very much need to raise $250,000 in the next couple of weeks. If you value the journalism you get from Mother Jones, please help us do it with a donation today.

As we wrote over the summer, traffic has been down at Mother Jones and a lot of sites with many people thinking news is less important now that Donald Trump is no longer president. But if you're reading this, you're not one of those people, and we're hoping we can rally support from folks like you who really get why our reporting matters right now. And that's how it's always worked: For 45 years now, a relatively small group of readers (compared to everyone we reach) who pitch in from time to time has allowed Mother Jones to do the type of journalism the moment demands and keep it free for everyone else.

Please pitch in with a donation during our fall fundraising drive if you can. We can't afford to come up short, and there's still a long way to go by November 5.

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