Despite recently-reported economic gains - including an unemployment rate that has dipped below 6 percent - one aspect that continues to trouble is wages. Paychecks have been stagnant, falling or only minutely increasing over the last 15 years.
New York Times Writer David Leonhardt refers to it as, "The Great Wage Slowdown of the 21st Century." That's a rather grand title, but it's had a very real effect on all but the wealthiest Americans.
For example, the average family in the U.S. makes less money that it did 15 years ago. That wasn't something we could say at any other point in our nation's history - except during the Great Depression. The hourly pay rate climbed just 2 percent in the last year. After adjusting for inflation, that basically amounts to no pay increase. The only class of workers to see a real boost in wages were those at the 90th percentile. While median income growth began stagnating in the mid-1970s, it came to an almost grinding halt around 2000 and has yet to recover.