Reader JohnH criticizes the use of average wages as indicators of the representative compensation, and suggests use of Social Security Administration data. Here are several measures taken from SSA, deflated by the CPI.
Figure 1: Average Wage Index (AWI) (blue), average net compensation (brown), and median net compensation (green), all in 1982-84$, per year; deflated using CPI all. 2020 AWI estimated by CBO. LIght green shading denotes Obama administration. Source: Social Security Administration  ,  CBO, BLS, and authors calculations.
How do these series, in particular, compare with the conventional average hourly earnings for total private industry ex.-nonproduction and supervisory employees (FRED series AHETPI)?
Figure 2: Average hourly earnings for total private industry excluding nonproduction and supervisory employees, in 1982-84$/hour (black, left log scale), and median net compensation (green, right log scale), in 1982-84$, per year; deflated using CPI all. NBER defined recession dates shaded gray. LIght green lines denote beginning and ending of Obama administration. Source: Social Security Administration  , BLS, and authors calculations.
The correlation between the two series (in log terms) is 0.90.
Comparing 2017M01 vs. 2009M01, real average wage (AHETPI) is 3.2% higher, and median wage is 5.1%.
I wish people would look at data.