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Study reports workers' wages stagnant this Labor Day

By Northern Plains News

With the last Labor Day hot dogs and family outings finished, it's now back to work after Labor Day for South Dakota's and the nation's workers.

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However, for many this Labor Day week, a new study shows their wages have increased only pennies over the past seven years.

That's the conclusion of, which recently studied the status of the U.S. workforce.

According to the personal finance organization, the average American worker in the private-sector earned $23.98 per hour in July 2013, up from $20.31 in July 2006 or $23.53 when adjusted for inflation -- a mere 45-cent increase.

In South Dakota, according to the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics, as of May 2012, the last statistics available, the mean hourly rate for all South Dakota workers was $17.32 per hour.

According to the BLS, the average South Dakotan made 0.7 percent more in 2012 than 2011.

During that same seven-year period, found the median compensation package for CEOs and executives went from $7 million to more than $12 million -- more than a $5 million increase.

"This 45-cent increase is paltry, to say the least," said Jennifer Calonia, editor for "This investigation shows the extensive gap between the average working American striving to support their family and the affluent top 1 percent."

The group also found that workers have produced, on average, 1.7 percent more output from 2007 to 2012. A U.S. worker makes an average of $34,645 a year; the average CEO makes 354 times that amount, according to the study, The study noted that the United States has a bigger income gap than other similarly developed countries, including the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, Switzerland, Denmark, New Zealand and Italy. arrived at their findings by evaluating average worker pay from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) (2006—2013) and CEO compensation from the Institute for Governance of Private and Public Organizations' "Pay for Value: Cutting the Gordian Knot of Executive Compensation" (2012), as well as AFL-CIO's current "Executive Paywatch." Worker output data comes the BLS preliminary multifactorproductivity trends report (2012); data regarding the distribution of family income (or giniindex) comes from the Central Intelligence Agency's "The World Factbook."