Report: Wages flat for at least a decade

The report, authored by Mishel and EPI economist Heidi Shierholz, examines employer- and household-based survey data to track wage trends, and in some cases, compensation trends.

"We need a different set of economic policies that lead to good jobs with better wages," Shierholz said. 

"Wages should be going up with increased worker productivity, but for most workers, they clearly are not."

The report primarily focuses on the trends since 2007 up to the second quarter of this year but also looks at various trends between 2000-2007. 

The data show that wage growth was anemic back to 1979, solidifying the long-term trend of minimal growth. 

"Wage growth can be created by lowering unemployment, by increasing the minimum wage and by restoring the bargaining power of workers," Mishel said. 

Other findings in the report include:

• During the recession and its aftermath — from 2007-2012, wages fell for the entire bottom 70 percent of the wage distribution, despite productivity growth of 7.7 percent.
 

• Weak wage growth was rooted well before the latest economic downturn. Between 2000 and 2007, workers saw wage growth of just 2.6 percent, despite productivity growth of 16 percent.

• All told, between 2000 and 2012, wages were flat or declined for the entire bottom 60 percent of the wage distribution, despite a 25 percent increase in productivity during the period. 

• Between 2002 and 2012, wages were stagnant or declined for the entire bottom 70 percent of the wage distribution.

• For nearly the entire period since 1979 (with the one exception being the strong wage growth of the late 1990s), wage growth for most workers has been weak. The median worker saw an increase of just 5 percent between 1979 and 2012, despite productivity growth of 74.5 percent.