The depressing truth behind the jobs 'recovery'

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Worker paychecks flat since 1979

Unemployment is below 6 percent for the first time since 2008, but it's not quite time to uncork the champagne when it comes to the jobs picture.

Wage growth in the U.S. has been flat for decades, providing an ugly counterweight to an ostensibly improving part of the economy.

September's positive jobs report, which saw the unemployment rate fall to 5.9 percent, was celebrated on Wall Street, but a growing chorus of experts suggests that the jobless number alone may not be enough to measure the health of the labor markets. New research suggests there should be more attention paid to income trends.

If your most recent raise felt underwhelming, there is compelling data confirming that your wallet is being squeezed by inflation and stagnant wages. Growth in wages peaked in 1973 and has steadily declined since. In fact, today's wages have the same purchasing power as they did in 1979, according to a report by the Pew Research Center.