The depressing reason most Americans are making more money

Many Americans have gone a long time without getting a raise — even as their cost of living has gone up.

That’s left most with only one option to keep their heads above water: Work more.

Average annual earnings for people in their prime working years (ages 25 to 54) increased 30.2% after inflation between 1979 and 2016, based on an analysis of data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics by the Economic Policy Institute, a nonprofit think tank that advocates for low-to-moderate income Americans. For the most part, however, that growth isn’t a reflection of higher hourly wages — instead it’s an indication that people are working more hours, researchers found.

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