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Barry Ritholtz

Health-Care Costs Ate Your Pay Raises

Take-home wages have stagnated for more than 40 years because employers shell out so much more for worker health insurance.
There goes next year's pay increase.
Photographer: Patrick T. Fallon/Bloomberg

Real, or inflation-adjusted, compensation has risen 61 percent since 1970; wages, on the other hand, have increased less than 3 percent in real terms in that period.

This is a tale that has gotten short shrift in this political season. Much of the narrative of the 2016 election is about middle-class anger over the lack of economic progress in an era of increasing financial inequality. Residual frustration with the financial crisis and bank bailouts isn't making voters feel any better either.