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April 26, 2013

'Wage Disparity Continues to Grow'

There is stagnation and growing inequality in "usual wage income" (no overtime, bonuses, investment income, etc.):
Wage Disparity Continues to Grow: The median pay of American workers has stagnated in recent years, but that is not true for all workers. When adjusted for inflation, the wages of low-paid workers have declined. But the wages for better-paid workers have grown significantly more rapidly than inflation.
The Labor Department last week reported the levels of “usual weekly wages”... with details on the distribution of wages available since 2000. ... The national median wage in the first quarter of this year was $827 a week. In 2013 dollars, the median wage 13 years before was $819, so the increase is about 1 percent. The figures include all workers over the age of 25.
The department said that ... to earn more money than 90 percent of those with jobs ... a person needed to earn $1,909 a week. That figure was nearly 9 percent higher than in early 1980. To reach the 10th percentile ... required an income of $387 a week. After adjusting for inflation, that figure is down 3 percent from 2000. ...
Put another way, in 2000 a worker in the 75th percentile made 48 percent more than a worker at the median, or 50th percentile. Now, a worker in that group earns 58 percent more. ...
If wage stagnation and growing inequality somehow caused flight delays and other inconveniences for those who are doing okay -- the people with the most political power -- maybe we'd put more effort into doing something about it.

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