Home > upward income redistribution > Falling real wages in the USA 2007- 2014

Falling real wages in the USA 2007- 2014

from David Ruccio


As the Economic Policy Institute explains,

Figure A depicts some of the data presented in Table 1 by showing the cumulative change in real hourly wages for the 10th, 30th, 50th, 70th, and 95th percentiles between 2007 and 2014. After a sharp increase in real wages between 2008 and 2009, due primarily to negative inflation, wages for most groups fell through 2012. While there was an increase between 2012 and 2013, the increase was short-lived, and wages for most groups have fallen again over the last year. Wages for nearly all groups are lower in 2014 than they were at the end of the recession in 2009.

The only exceptions? Real wages for the top 5 percent have risen (by 2.2 percent) since 2007. And real wages for the bottom 10 percent of workers have increased since 2012, mostly because inflation has been low and many states enacted increases in the minimum wage.

Overall, real wages for the bottom 80 percent of workers were lower at the end of 2014 than they were in 2007.


To get a sense of how far workers are falling behind, productivity in the U.S. economy increased by about 12.6 percent over that same period.

  1. Herb Wiseman
    February 26, 2015 at 8:09 pm

    Graphic portrayal of USA wages decline and productivity increases. If wages are declining in most income groups and productivity is increasing, Who is benefiting? The top income group — 95th percentile — but likely the top 1% would show a more dramatic change than the 95th percentile which might also show a decline if the top 1% were factored out of the calculations. Canada usually follows suit.

  2. Hepion
    February 27, 2015 at 1:45 am

    In this world – world of incomes, as opposed to pre-capitalist tribal societies -, powerful become rich simply by dealing money into their own pockets and maybe to their closest cronies.

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