Rising inequality is one of the challenges facing the recovering U.S. economy, according to economists who spoke at the annual retreat known as Camp Kotok in Grand Lake Stream, Maine. While the July jobs report showed wages increased 2.6 percent over the past year, the strongest 12-month gain since 2009, that number doesn't tell the entire story. 'We're adding most of our jobs in low wage and low hour sectors,' said Megan Greene, chief economist at John Hancock Financial Services/Manulife Asset Management. 'So if we're adding all of our jobs at or slightly above minimum wage, people aren't getting much of a wage bump.' She added there's a 'global glut' of cheap labor. On the other side of the spectrum, those in high paying jobs are getting even more money, according to Amy Cutts, chief economist at Equifax. 'At Equifax, we have a database of employer provided wages. So we get to see the paystubs. What I'm seeing is that highly qualified, very strong people in their fields are getting stolen from other employers, and getting big bumps in wages.' Not so much, for everyone else. 'Think back to 2003. You'd come into the office, the phone was ringing off the hook (with) recruiters saying you know someone, I'm looking. No one's calling. I'm not seeing the LinkedIn (LNKD) messages and all of that,' said Cutts. 'So it really feels to me like this economy is growing, but it's like this giant cargo plane that can barely get off the ground and it's still laboring to get some altitude.' Cutts and Greene spoke with TheStreet's Rhonda Schaffler.
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