America Wants to Save More. It Just Needs More Money to Do It.

Here comes “America Saves Week,” when consumers are deluged with surveys and advice about saving. And no one's going to argue that putting more money away—for a child’s education, for a comfortable retirement, for a rainy-day fund—isn't an important goal.

But next week's flood of tips, warnings, and sales pitches also highlights how useless much of this is to those who need to save the most—the many Americans who are just getting by. What they need is wage growth.

Lately we've seen some positive signs. Labor Department figures for January showed the strongest wage gains since 2008, with average hourly earnings up 0.5 percent. As more industries expand payroll and more employers compete for workers by bidding up wages, incomes will grow. Wal-Mart is preparing to raise wages for half a million workers.

Suzanne Woolley |

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