The drop in average wages since 1973 suggests the seriousness of this problem. In 2009 the average non-supervisory worker in the United States earned $18.62 an hour (in 2009 dollars)—7 percent below the 1972 peak of $20.20 per hour (also in 2009 dollars). But this is only half the story. While wages fell, average labor productivity in the United States rose by 105 percent. In exchange for being twice as productive as they were in 1972, American workers took a 7 percent pay cut.