It's been a relatively good year for American workers looking for a raise.
Last year, after-tax personal income rose by 3.5 percent, after adjusting for inflation. That's the biggest gain since 2006, before the Great Recession sent the unemployment rate soaring and tore a multitrillion-dollar hole in American's household savings.
Continued improvement in the job market is a major reason incomes are picking up. Since the depths of the recession, the jobless rate has fallen in half. With fewer jobless workers willing to accept whatever salary they're offered — and skilled workers in short supply able to negotiate a better wage — employers are having a harder time keeping paychecks in check.
But the gains are still relatively weak by historical standards.
Since the recession ended in 2009, wage gains for American workers have lagged every recovery since 1960. That may be one reason that — for many workers — the current economy still feels weak.