Bill Clinton says workers haven't gotten raises

Posted at 10:54 AM, Mar 25, 2016
and last updated 2016-03-25 23:17:26-04

Chances are, you haven't gotten a raise since 2007, according to former President Bill Clinton. 

Bill Clinton made this claim while lobbying for his wife in Phoenix March 20

“People in both parties are upset by the fact that 80 percent of the American people haven’t gotten a pay raise since the crash,” Clinton said.

"...80 percent of the American people haven't gotten a pay raise since the crash."

We put this claim through a PolitiFact truth check. 

Same salary

Bill Clinton’s spokesman, Angel Urena, provided us with multiple studies done by the Economic Policy Institute on the issue.

We reached out to the D.C. think tank directly, which analyzes the data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics and U.S. Census Bureau.

“The statement is largely correct. Real, inflation-adjusted wages were stagnant for the bottom 80 percent of the wage distribution between 2007 and 2014,” said Economic Policy Institute spokesman Dan Crawford.

Real wages did increase 1.7 percent in 2015, but Crawford noted that was because of a one-time dip in inflation. Wage inequality still increased across the board in 2015.

Moreover, median household income declined more than 6 percent between 2007 and 2014. 

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Our ruling

Bill Clinton said, “80 percent of the American people haven’t gotten a pay raise since the crash.”

The former president is accurate. While there were modest increases in real wages and median weekly earnings in 2015, they come with asterisks.

Inflation’s one-time decline in 2015 is an outlier. And, weekly wages leaves out other sources of income. Some households rely on sources outside of wages and salaries, such as Social Security, as part of their income.

We rate Bill Clinton’s claim as mostly true. 


For the complete fact-check, visit our news partner, PolitiFact Arizona