Declining wages color incoming data

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Declining wages color incoming data

Post  fshnski on Mon Aug 26, 2013 1:02 pm

One datapoint from last week’s economic news stood out: median household income has declined since the recession ended.

As reported by the New York Times, a Sentier Research analysis of Current Population Survey data shows that the median U.S. household has experienced a 4.4 percent drop in the amount of pre-tax income since the official end of the recession in 2009. Although incomes are rising and families are making more than they were in the depths of the recession, the median household is making only $50,700 — that’s $2,400 less than at the end of the recession, and $3,400 less than at its beginning.

The Economic Policy Institute, a left-of-center Washington think tank, analyzed the same CPS dataset and concluded that between 2002 and 2012 “wages were stagnant or declined for the entire bottom 70 percent of the wage distribution. In other words, the vast majority of wage earners have already experienced a lost decade, one where real wages were either flat or in decline.”

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