The U.S. job market has steadily improved by pretty much every gauge except the one Americans probably care about most: Pay.
The unemployment rate has sunk to a nearly normal 6.1 percent. Employers have added a robust 2.5 million jobs the past 12 months. Layoffs have tumbled.
Yet most people are still waiting for a decent raise. Friday’s August jobs report confirmed that average hourly pay has crept up only about 2 percent a year since the recession ended five years ago—barely above inflation and far below the gains in most recoveries.