Nearly 6 in 10 Americans earned more last year, even after inflation: Study

Nearly 6 in 10 American workers saw their wages grow more quickly than inflation in the past year, according to a new analysis from the Center for American Progress (CAP), a left-leaning think tank.

Some 57 percent of workers earned higher inflation-adjusted wages in November compared to one year earlier, the analysis found. This represents a larger share of workers than the average before the COVID-19 pandemic, between 2017 and 2019.

“In fact, real wages for a typical worker stand at about the level expected if there had been no pandemic or recession in early 2020 and if they had kept growing at the same rate as in years prior,” the CAP noted in the study released Wednesday.

Americans have seen a median increase in hourly wages of about 45 cents per hour after inflation, or more than $900 per year for a full-time, year-round worker, according to the think tank’s analysis.

Even though prices have gone up 20 percent since the end of 2019, the study found that wages for a typical worker have gone up 23 percent.

Inflation skyrocketed in the wake of the pandemic, reaching a 40-year high of 9.1 percent in June 2022. It has since eased significantly, with consumer prices up just 3.1 percent year-over-year in November.

The U.S. economy has also remained surprisingly resilient despite the Federal Reserve’s repeated interest rate hikes, which sought to bring inflation back down to the central bank’s target rate of 2 percent.

However, President Biden’s efforts to tout his role in the post-pandemic economic recovery have largely fallen flat, with a vast majority of Americans giving the president poor marks on inflation and jobs.

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