Fed's trillions haven't helped worker paychecks

Employment Cost Index up 0.2% in Q2

The central bank printed $4.5 trillion and all we got was a lousy 0.2 percent wage increase.

While that sounds like a T-shirt for policy geeks that one might buy at the shore, it actually pretty accurately describes the plight of the average American worker. After years of easing never seen before in global central banking history, the Federal Reserve's efforts have amounted to little when it comes to stimulating "good" inflation, particularly in terms of wage increases.

The employment cost index, an otherwise secondary data point that suddenly has taken on more importance, painted a bleak picture for workers in its latest update Friday.

On a quarterly basis, it showed wages and salaries increasing just 0.2 percent, believed to be the lowest three-month move ever for a data set that goes back to 1982. That translated to a 2 percent annualized gain in compensation costs, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

What's more, the scant growth went mostly to government workers, who saw a 0.6 percent increase, while the private sector was flat. On a 12-month basis, private worker compensation rose just 1.9 percent, which actually was a slight decrease from the 2.0 percent at the same time in 2014. Wages and salaries alone grew 2.1 percent, which actually was an increase from the 1.8 percent a year ago.