Latest wage data show continuing stagnation that is contributing to economic doldrums
American paychecks shrank last year, just-released data show, further eroding the public’s purchasing power, which is so vital to economic growth.
Average pay for 2013 was $43,041 — down $79 from the previous year when measured in 2013 dollars. Worse, average pay fell $508 below the 2007 level, my analysis of the new Social Security Administration data shows.
Flat or declining average pay is a major reason so many Americans feel that the Great Recession never ended for them. A severe job shortage compounds that misery not just for workers but also for businesses trying to profit from selling goods and services.
Average pay declined in 59 of the 60 levels of worker pay the government reports each October. The Social Security Administration slices wages into tight categories, starting at $1 to $5,000 and topping out at $50 million plus.