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American Paychecks Growing at Slowest Pace in 33 Years

August 04, 2015

This just in: “US Paychecks Grow at Record-Slow Pace in 2nd Quarter”

It’s another unwelcome headline from the Obama recovery.

As we noted earlier this summer, despite a modest uptick in hiring, many American workers still aren’t seeing their paychecks grow. Now, a report released by the Labor Department is echoing these findings.

The Employment Cost Index report found that during the spring quarter, American wages and salaries rose a mere 0.2%—the smallest quarterly gain in wages and salaries gains experienced by workers since 1982.

The report also found that total compensation—salaries and benefits—for private sector workers experienced no change whatsoever last quarter—a fact the Associated Press described as “the weakest showing since the government began tracking the data in 1980.”

In other words: six and a half years into President Obama’s approach, and families still aren’t feeling the benefits of this so-called recovery.

Today, Americans are working harder than ever, yet too many of their paychecks remain stuck in neutral. As the AP put it: “The slowdown suggests that companies are still able to find the workers they need without boosting pay, a sign the job market is not yet back to full health.”

All this may help explain why Americans’ confidence in the economy is waning. Five long years since the administration declared a “Recovery Summer,” families are still waiting to see it in their paychecks.

Now, it’s time to swap rhetoric for results. That’s why the Ways and Means Committee is advancing an agenda to fix our burdensome tax code, boost job-creating exports, and help move people from welfare to work.

As Chairman Ryan recently said, “The American people deserve an opportunity economy—one that allows everybody to reach their potential. We shouldn’t settle for anything less.”