AP FACT CHECK: Trump on wage gains

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AP FACT CHECK: Trump on wage gains
FILE - In this Jan. 21, 2018, file photo, lights shine inside the U.S. Capitol Building as night falls in Washington. President Donald Trump will herald a robust economy and push for bipartisan congressional action on immigration in his Jan. 30, State of the Union address. The speech marks the ceremonial kick-off of Trump’s second year in office and is traditionally a president’s biggest platform to speak to the nation. (AP Photo/J. David Ake, File)

WASHINGTON (AP) — A look at President Donald Trump’s statement Tuesday night claiming that American wages are finally rising and how it compares with the facts:

TRUMP: “After years and years of wage stagnation, we are finally seeing rising wages.”

THE FACTS: Actually, they are not rising any faster than they have before. Average hourly pay rose 2.5 percent in 2017, slightly slower than the 2.9 percent increase recorded in 2016.

Most economists say wages should increase at a faster rate as the unemployment rate drops. The unemployment rate stands at a 17-year low of 4.1 percent, but that has done little so far to spark rising wages.

The last time unemployment was this low, in the late 1990s, average hourly pay was rising at a 4 percent pace.

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EDITOR’S NOTE _ A look at the veracity of claims by political figures