The economy is sick.
We just got what was ostensibly a great jobs report: The economy added 252,000 jobs, and unemployment fell to 5.6%. We're moving toward normal.
Wages are not growing. In fact, average hourly earnings were down 5 cents in December, to $24.57.
Economic theory would have it that as the economy grows and the labor market gets tighter, increasing competition among employers would require them to raise the pay of their employees to recruit new ones and keep the old ones.
That's just not happening.
Wages fell by 0.2% in December. It's hard to ascribe too much importance to one month's data point, but the fact is that wages have been more or less flat since they stopped falling after the recession. Let's look at that chart from Nick Bunker again: