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American Wage Stagnation

"Wage stagnation is a decades-long phenomenon. Between 1979 and 2014, while the gross domestic product grew 150 percent and productivity grew 75 percent, the inflation-adjusted hourly wage of the median worker rose just 5.6 percent — less than 0.2 percent a year. And since 2002, the bottom 80 percent of wage earners, including both male and female college graduates, have actually seen their wages stagnate or fall."

- Lawrence Mishel, Even Better Than a Tax Cut, New York Times, Feb. 23, 2015


- from David Leonhardt, The American Dream, Quantified at Last, NYT, Dec. 8, 2016


In 1972, so-called production and nonsupervisory workers — some 80 percent of the American work force — brought home average wages equivalent to $738.86 a week in today’s dollars, after adjusting for inflation, according to an Economic Policy Institute analysis of federal data. Last year, the average worker brought home $723.67 a week.

In short, 44 years had passed with the typical American worker absorbing a roughly 2 percent pay cut.
- PETER S. GOODMAN and JONATHAN SOBLE, Global Economy’s Stubborn Reality: Plenty of Work, Not Enough Pay, NYT, OCT. 7, 2017


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