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When Will Americans Ever Get Raises?

A tightening job market no longer guarantees higher pay
When Will Americans Ever Get Raises?
Illustration by 731; Data: Current Population Survey

Americans are overdue for a fatter paycheck: Average earnings haven’t risen in more than six years. The labor market is finally recovering—the unemployment rate is down to 5.9 percent from 8.2 percent in July 2012—and that usually pushes up wages. But it’s not clear that job growth will translate into pay increases in 2015.