Another view: Wow, did you see the market?

Whew, what to make of this rollicking market. Although we have a good idea what happens next.

No, no, not the stock market. We learned all we need to know about those gyrations a few years ago from Albert “Ab” Nicholas, founder of the Nicholas investment company in Milwaukee. Nicholas, now deceased, advised thinking long-term rather than paying attention to Wall Street’s conniptions. “Two-thirds of the time, stocks are going up,” Nicholas said. “One-third of the time, they’re going down. Don’t try to guess which third is which.”

No, the number that animates us today is the employment market: The Labor Department reports that in January, wages for private-sector workers were 2.9 percent higher than a year earlier. That’s the biggest year-over-year increase since the end of the Great Recession in mid-2009.

By the numbers

If this isn’t a blip, it’s excellent news. For most of the long but lazy recovery from that recession, Americans haven’t seen much in the way of wage increases. It’s hard to distinguish causes from effects, but the U.S. economy was growing slowly, employers didn’t have to raise wages to retain employees, and workers didn’t have new income to drive consumer demand for goods and services.

Now, though, the cycle looks more virtuous. If it keeps up, so will the faster economic growth of the past year.

Consider these data points: The nation’s unemployment rate has…

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