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The great wage mystery deepens. In economic recoveries, there usually comes a time when strong job gains lead to strong wage gains. Businesses must pay more to recruit and retain the workers they need.

Not this time — or at least not yet. The U.S. unemployment rate has dropped from a peak of 10 percent in October 2009 to 5.6 percent at the end of 2014. But hourly wage gains haven’t accelerated. They’ve plodded along at about a 2 percent annual rate, roughly matching inflation.

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