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stagnant wages

Health insurance premiums and deductibles for employer-sponsored plans are costing workers more this year, according to a report from Kaiser Family Foundation.

Despite a strong economy, about 40 percent of American families struggled to meet at least one of their basic needs last year, including paying for food, health care, housing or utilities.

A basic tenet of economics is that when demand for something goes up, so does its cost. So, many economists wonder why today's high demand for workers hasn't translated into bigger increases in pay.

Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell has called this a puzzle that defies a single or easy explanation. It isn't just, for example, that productivity has slowed, making it harder for businesses to justify paying more — though that is certainly a factor.