(NEW YORK) -- A new study from the Economic Policy Institute (EPI) says Americans' wages have stagnated. "Wages have been flat for 10 years … dead in the water," Larry Mishel of EPI told ABC News. Mishel said this trend has been around since 2002 and is not specific to the Great Recession and its aftermath. The issue is pretty much across the board in low, medium and high income brackets, he said.
The problem? EPI's Heidi Shierholz explains that persistant unemployment isn't helping.
"With so few outside job opportunities, employers simply do not have to offer substantial wage increases to get and keep the workers they need," she said.
But even wages have been stagnant for 10 years, this news can't be helpful to those struggling to keep their heads above water in the sputtering economy. Another report released Wednesday provided proof that the American middle class is struggling.
Median household income is down by 4.4 percent since the economic recovery supposedly began in June 2009, according to a study by Sentier Research, which is run by two former U.S. Census Bureau officials.
Median household income was $54,478 in June 2009, but is only $52,098 as of June 2013.
Gordon Green of Sentier said their report can provide, "a measure of the net effect of economic activity on the middle class and how well they are able to buy food, housing and other necessities every month."
According to the data from Sentier, almost every group is now worse off than it was four years ago, with the exception of people ages 65 to 74, Green said.
The Census Bureau is set to release their official report on household income next month.
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