Who says you haven’t had a pay raise? Not only have you been getting raises each year, but a good portion of each raise has been tax-free or tax-differed. This also goes to some extent for those few Americans lucky to have employer-provided benefits in retirement.
All those raises have a name; employee benefits, especially health care benefits and all forms of retirement benefits.
Granted you can’t buy a lottery ticket or a new TV with that portion of your total compensation, but there is real value there which shouldn’t be overlooked. And, you better hope Congress continues to look the other way regarding the tax-free part of this compensation because it is the single biggest revenue loser for the government.
… real wages have been little changed for more than 46 years, increasing a minuscule 2.7 percent during that period.
During the same 46-plus years, this (total compensation) rose 61 percent. Total comp includes wages, various worker benefits such as matching 401(k) contributions, health insurance, disability insurance, paid vacation and leave plus any employer-paid taxes. “These benefits are now a substantial part of the cost of an employee – and they appear to be growing,” according to the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, which compiled the data.