US Economy

The average American made $44.6K last year

Sec. Lew: Wages need to go up
Bill Clinton: Wages flat, labor participation low
Fmr. Fed Chair Bernanke: Come close to full employment

Americans' wallets got fatter in 2014 than the year before, though the biggest gains may be filtering to the top.

The average American took in $44,569.20 last year, according to data released Tuesday by the Social Security Administration. It marks an increase of 3.5 percent from 2013.

Still, 67 percent of wage earners made less than or equal to the average. Median compensation came in at $28,851.21 for the year, up from $28,031.02 in 2013.

Despite the increase in average compensation last year, pay has struggled to pick up momentum recently. Wages were flat in September, according to the Labor Department.

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The mark is one metric indicating little inflationary pressure in the U.S. economy. The U.S. Federal Reserve has looked for inflation to pick up as it decides whether to start normalizing from near-zero interest rate policy.