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Congress and the Biden Administration Are Putting Policies in Place to Continue the Strong Wage Gains Workers Experienced in 2021

Key Points:
Low-wage workers experienced the strongest wage gains in 2021.
Workers who switched jobs saw strong wage growth thanks to a tight labor market and low unemployment.
Despite inflation, many workers saw real wage gains last year.
Federal policy is an effective tool for raising wages

The United States has experienced a robust economic recovery under President Biden, with strong wage growth making up for much of the impact from recent inflation for many workers. In 2021 the United States added 6.7 million jobs and wages grew by 4.5%, the fastest rate in almost four decades. While disruptions from the coronavirus and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine are depriving workers of the full benefits of the U.S. economic recovery, a strong labor market and rising wages will help families through the strain of higher prices. Trends in the labor market indicate continuing progress on wages and show that wage growth has occurred for workers who need it most.

Congress and the Biden administration have taken action to lift wages and support high-quality jobs. Infrastructure investments passed by Congress will go towards projects that create good-paying jobs. The Biden administration has taken action to protect workers from wage theft, implement a $15 minimum wage for federal contractors and enforce the labor provisions of the new NAFTA for the first time to protect American workers.

In addition, President Biden has ordered a government-wide effort to fight corporate concentration of power and promote competition, increasing workers’ bargaining power over wages.

Just the facts? Fact Facts: 8 Facts About Wage Gains.