Ah, the good old days.  The days when you could expect a yearly performance review and a nice uptick in pay for a job well done.  The days when you got a nice bonus at the annual office Christmas party.  The Great Recession of 2008 ended all that.

According to the experts, the Great Recession ended in June 2009.  Eight years later most sections of the U.S. economy are rebounding, with construction showing its biggest growth since the recession in 2016.  Unemployment is at its lowest in 16 years That's the good news.

The bad news is that personal paychecks are not keeping up with growth.  If you're one of the lucky ones, you may see an increase in your yearly paycheck of about 2%.  Even Louisiana state employees who traditionally have received yearly 4% increases will only see a 2% raise come October 1st.

According to the Wall Street Journal that may be the new normal.  The reason is that even with high employment, productivity across the country is stagnant.  4% of jobs in the U.S. are empty which means some areas of the country have a shortage of workers.

"So, why don't employers just pay more to lure workers?" you ask.  Well, in order to do that they'd have to raise prices for consumers and/or increase productivity which just isn't happening.  At least not right now.

Welcome to the bad new days.