Data for 2014 suggest that while wage erosion may have finally halted for some workers, this was not true for the worker at the middle of the wage distribution – the median earner – who continued to see an erosion in her hourly wage last year. What’s more, workers earning around the median wage – those at the 40th and 60th percentile – also are continuing to see a decline in the purchasing power of their wages. This continues a decades-long trend of the state’s economic growth not leading to broad-based wage growth for California workers.Emanuel Saez writes at The Washington Center for Equitable Growth:
Income inequality in the United States grew more acute in 2014, yet the bottom 99 percent of income earners registered the best real income growth (after factoring in inflation) in 15 years. The latest data from the U.S. Internal Revenue Service show that incomes for the bottom 99 percent of families grew by 3.3 percent over 2013 levels, the best annual growth rate since 1999. But incomes for those families in the top 1 percent of earners grew even faster, by 10.8 percent, over the same period.From a paper by Saez:
At AEI, James Pethokokas writes:
Hey, incomes rose a lot during the much-revered Clinton expansion. And income growth for the 1% was five time as great as for the 99%. Overall, income going to the top 1% rose to 21.5% in 2000 from 14.2% in 1993. (And for the richest of the rich, the top 0.01%, the top income share rose to 5.1% in 2000 from 2.3% in 1993.) A rising tide wasn’t lifting all boats equally, but they were all getting a pretty good lift nonetheless. During the Obama expansion, however, top incomes are again rising about five times as fast as for everyone else, but people seem to care a lot more since their income growth is tepid at best.