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Is the American paycheck great again?
Illustration: Rebecca Zisser / Axios

A spate of recent reports is challenging an article of faith — that the modern economy is sticking it to the little guy, offering up no wage increases for years. The research documents back-to-back income increases in 2015 and 2016, and suggests that the main problem now is not stagnant wages, but a shortage of labor.

But don't get too excited: Economic data actually conflict. And there is a major fact many are leaving out: even though earnings have turned upward since 2015, they are still barely higher, adjusted for inflation, than two decades ago.