Did wage growth in 2017-2019 accelerate from the pace during the Obama Administration?

Friday, September 11, 2020
By Christopher Hutton

From 2017 to 2019, U.S. wages began to grow at higher annual rates than in the previous several years, reaching a peak rate of increase of 3.8% in the fall of 2019, according to Labor Department figures for production and nonsupervisory workers. After hitting a low of 1.2% in 2012, in the early years of recovery from recession, the pace had recovered to 2.4% in the last month of President Obama's term.

The Atlanta branch of the Federal Reserve Bank uses different data-collection methods but outlines a similar trend, with a gradual, uneven recovery from an annual growth rate of well under 2% in early 2010 to almost 4% by late 2016. On the Atlanta Fed's measure overall wage growth has fluctuated between 3% and 4% since, reaching 3.8% in January of this year.

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