Party Like It’s 1998

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The bottom 25% of earners are gaining wages at the highest rate since 1998. Nominal wages have been rising dramatically for all workers in the past year, and the gains made by first quartile earners are outpacing those of higher quartiles by at least a full percent. 

Highlighted in the chart below, wages were up 6.7% for first quartile earners in May 2022, the highest 12-month moving average since 1998. Overall wage growth, for all workers, was 5.0% in May, an impressive rate. These are encouraging figures for workers who have seen rather negligible wage growth in the

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