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The reason why you may feel like your check is getting smaller is because it is, according to an article by Time.

It says personal income fell 3.6 percent in January. If taxes and inflation are considered, disposable income was 4 percent lower. This is the biggest decrease in 20 years.

Not only is the economy recovering slowly, but the standard of living is falling for about half of Americans. This is in part due to the lack of productivity, according to the article.

Usually when a recession occurs, a company becomes more productive as it increases the capacity of a worker's load. This time, however, the growth has never been fast enough to keep up. This in turn made wages stand still, Time reported.

In addition to wages not improving, the payroll tax-cut expiration raised taxes by two percentage point for those who make up to $113,700 a year.

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