Profits are up, the financial markets keep shooting higher, and workers continue work longer hours, but wages are basically holding steady, according to a new study.

Flickr user: 401(K) 2012

The Economic Policy Institute reports productivity increased 80.4 percent between 1973 and 2011, while compensation has only gone up 10.7 percent during that same period.

"Employers pay employees as much as they have to and not a penny more. How much people get paid has nothing to do with how productive they are, sadly," says Lew Malby, President of the National Workrights Institute in Princeton.

If you're looking for a raise, Maltby says you probably won't get one, unless you threaten to leave your current position.

"Ultimately, all you can do is look around and see if you can find another company that will appreciate your talents more," he says. "Your boss will pay you as much as he has to, to get you to come to work for the company, but he has no incentive to pay you anything more and usually he won't."

He points out someone like Bill Gates is rich and he deserves to be, but he still could have made billions and l paid his employees more.

"It's the law of the jungle," says Maltby. "The only thing that will change it is if the economy gets better, they'll be more demand for people's work and employers will have to pay more to get people…If we ever got unions back in this country, that would make a big difference- it's a lot harder to stiff everybody than it is to stiff one person."