Raw Data: Wages for Ordinary Workers

For some reason there’s been a lot of chatter lately about wages finally going up after eight years of economic expansion. Really?

For ordinary workers, wages went up in 2015 and 2016 but have been pretty flat in 2017. In December their wages increased a whopping 0.17 percent compared to the previous year. That doesn’t seem very impressive to me.

Wage growth for all workers has gone up slightly more—0.38 percent in December—but that’s still nothing to write home about. And anyway, that includes wage growth for everyone, including doctors and lawyers and CEOs. My own view is that the economy is doing well when ordinary workers see wage gains, so that’s what I look at. And there’s just no there there for 2017.

DOES IT FEEL LIKE POLITICS IS AT A BREAKING POINT?

Headshot of Editor in Chief of Mother Jones, Clara Jeffery

It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

We kept coming back to one word: corruption. Democracy and the rule of law being undermined by those with wealth and power for their own gain. So we're launching an ambitious Mother Jones Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on systemic corruption, and asking the MoJo community to help crowdfund it.

We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We want to dig into the forces and decisions that have allowed massive conflicts of interest, influence peddling, and win-at-all-costs politics to flourish.

It's unlike anything we've done, and we have seed funding to get started, but we're looking to raise $500,000 from readers by July when we'll be making key budgeting decisions—and the more resources we have by then, the deeper we can dig. If our plan sounds good to you, please help kickstart it with a tax-deductible donation today.

Thanks for reading—whether or not you can pitch in today, or ever, I'm glad you're with us.

Signed by Clara Jeffery

Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

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