In the late 1990s, many observers hoped that we had finally broken free of the slow income growth that had bogged down the American middle class for more than two decades. Unfortunately, experience since 2000 suggests that the long period of stagnant wages is dragging on. In marked contrast to the 1947–74 period—when wages for almost all workers were rising steadily and faster than the inflation rate—average wages after the mid-1970s failed to grow consistently. Household incomes continued to rise somewhat fitfully over that period, but only because family members were working more hours. Bernard Wasow analyzes the causes of slow wage growth and looks at which Americans are losing out because of it. First published in July 2004, this publication was updated in May 2008.