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In New York, in May. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

U.S. workers saw their largest year-on-year wage increase in a decade, but it was still too small — and inflation too high — to signal a clear break from the long period of income stagnation.

What's happening: For almost a decade, weak wage growth has defied the economic recovery and has bedeviled workers. But wages and salaries grew 3.1% year-over-year in the third quarter. That was larger than the 2.5% increase in inflation, but still not a lot, economists say.

  • "Real wage growth is almost nil during the last year," says Laurence Ales, an economics professor at the Tepper School of Business at Carnegie Mellon University. "The Federal Reserve forecasts a stable outlook for inflation at about 2%. Hence, the real wage gain will remain subdued in the near future."

The bottom line: "A few good quarters doesn’t make up for years of stagnation," Jared Bernstein, former chief economist to Joe Biden and now a fellow at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, tells Axios. "What’s remarkable is how long it takes in contemporary economic expansions before people who depend on paychecks vs. portfolios catch a break."

Go deeper

13 mins ago - Sports

China wins 1st gold of Tokyo Olympics

Silver medalist Anastasiia Galashina of Russia, gold medalist Yang Qian of China and bronze medalist Nina Christen of Switzerland celebrate on the podium after the 10m air rifle women's final. Photo:

China's Yang Qian won the first gold of the Tokyo Olympics, narrowly beating Anastasiia Galashina of the Russian Olympic Committee in the women's 10-meter air rifle final.

Why it matters: The first medal ceremony of the Games took on extra meaning after a year-long delay and other hurdles brought on by the pandemic. Athletes are required to hang medals around their own necks in an effort to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

Journalism's two Americas

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

There's a sharp divide in American journalism between haves and have-nots. While national journalists covering tech and politics on the coasts reap the benefits of booming businesses and book deals, local media organizations, primarily newspapers, continue to shrink.

Why it matters: The disparate fortunes skew what gets covered, elevating big national political stories at the expense of local, community-focused news.

Updated 10 hours ago - Sports

Olympics dashboard

🚨: Japan's Naomi Osaka lights Olympic cauldron; Photos

👻: How the no-spectator Olympics could affect the athletes

🇺🇸: "What an honor it is to watch you soar," first lady tells U.S. Olympians

🌏: Meet the underdogs from Latin America

🥇: The six new sports at Tokyo 2020

💉 About 100 U.S. Olympic athletes are unvaccinated

✍️ Axios at the Olympics: What it's like inside the opening ceremony

Go deeper: Full Axios coverage

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