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“Under the Trump economy the lowest-paid earners are reaping the fastest gains of anybody,” Trump told the crowd during a rally in Wildwood, New Jersey, on Tuesday night. “Earnings for the bottom 10 percent are rising faster than earnings for the top 10 percent. First time ever.”
The president went onto say that, since his election, the net worth of the bottom half of wage earners has increased by 47 percent – three times that of the top one percent.
According to data from the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, wage growth among low-wage workers has recently outpaced that of high-wage workers. Pay for the bottom quarter of wage earners, for example, rose 4.5 percent in November, compared with 2.9 percent for the highest 25 percent of earners. The data also showed that wage growth during the period among low-skilled workers grew at the same pace as that of high-skill workers.
As reported by The New York Times, recent pay growth among low-wage workers outpaced that of high-wage workers by the widest margin in at least 20 years.
During prior years in the economic recovery, gains had largely been made by those at the higher end of the income scale.
Wage increases among low-wage workers have been attributed to a number of factors, including a strengthening U.S. labor market. With the unemployment rate hovering near multi-decade lows, businesses have to compete for qualified workers – which tends to result in increased pay, even for those in low-skilled and/or low-paying positions.
State and local minimum wage hikes also likely helped. As previously reported by FOX Business, about 20 states raised their minimum wages at the outset of 2020 alone. The federal minimum wage remains unchanged at $7.25 per hour.
According to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in the fourth quarter of 2019 median weekly earnings for full-time wage and salary workers rose by 4 percent, to $936. For the full year, median weekly earnings for men rose by 2.9 percent, and by 6.2 percent for women.
Trump also mentioned on Tuesday that his administration is working on another middle-class tax cut, which is expected to be detailed in the run-up to the 2020 election.
Trump was in Wildwood on Tuesday visiting the district of Rep. Jeff Van Drew, who recently switched to the Republican Party from the Democratic Party over his former colleagues’ so-called “lurch to the left.” Van Drew refused to support impeachment – he was one of two Democrats who voted against opening the inquiry.