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.