In the USA “the real earnings of the median male have actually declined by 19 percent since 1970.”
from David Ruccio
I often tell people, in class and in talks I give, that workers’ wages have been stagnant for decades in the United States.
But, according to Michael Greenstone and Adam Looney, I’m wrong. Things are much worse.
When we consider all working-age men, including those who are not working, the real earnings of the median male have actually declined by 19 percent since 1970. This means that the median man in 2010 earned as much as the median man did in 1964 — nearly a half century ago. Men with less education face an even bleaker picture; earnings for the median man with a high school diploma and no further schooling fell by 41 percent from 1970 to 2010.
Women have fared much better over these 40 years, but they started from a lower level, and the same problems faced by their male counterparts are beginning to have an effect. Since 1970, the earnings of the median female worker have increased by 71 percent, and the share of women 25 to 64 who are employed has risen to 71 percent, from 54 percent. But after making significant wage gains over several decades, that progress has slowed and even reversed recently. Since 2000, the earnings of the median woman have fallen by 6 percent.
Clearly, it’s time I update my claim and face the facts: the situation of working-class Americans, leading up to and now in the midst of the Second Great Depression, is even worse than I have led people to believe.