The 99% Get a Bigger Raise

New data show much faster growth in wages and incomes.

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An assembly line worker packages items
An assembly line worker packages items from an online order to be shipped out of a Target store in Edison, N.J., Nov. 16, 2018. PHOTO: JULIO CORTEZ/ASSOCIATED PRESS PHOTO: JULIO CORTEZ/ASSOCIATED PRESS

Political discourse nowadays is enough to depress anyone, and the media don’t help by ignoring good economic news. But buck up, Americans: Worker wages are growing much faster than previously reported.

The Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) on Tuesday published its annual revisions to personal income data, and the surprise was the huge jump in disposable income and employee compensation.

The revisions show that employee compensation rose 4.5% in 2017 and 5% in 2018—some $4.4 billion and $87.1 billion more than previously reported. The trend has continued into 2019, with compensation increasing $378 billion or 3.4% in the first six months alone. Wages and salaries were revised upward to 5.3% from 3.6% in May year over year. And in June wages and salaries grew at an annual rate of 5.5%, which is a rocking 4.1% after adjusting for inflation.

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