The No. 1 reason Americans still feel broke even if they received a raise last year

Even if the economy is on a roll, many Americans aren’t feeling the benefit.

Real wages effectively declined in 2018, according to figures from the PayScale Index, a formula from the Seattle-based salary comparison site. PayScale said the median wage increases, when adjusted for inflation, were only 1.1% since last year and 1% over the past year. “However, the modest uptick in nominal wages failed to bring real wages out of the red for the year,” it said. In fact, when adjusted for cost of living increases, real wages declined 1.3% since the end of 2017, PayScale found.

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