Monday, August 11, 2014
The United States Conference of Mayors, Income and Wage Gaps Across the U.S.:
The Wage Gap in the US:
- The US has regained the 8.7 million jobs that were lost during the Great Recession, and employment has surpassed its pre-‐recession peak of 138.4 million jobs in 2008.
- Average annual wage of jobs lost in 2008-‐09 was $61,637, and average wage of job gains through the second quarter of 2014 equaled $47,171. This wage gap of 23% is significantly larger than that of the earlier recession and recovery (2000-‐2006), and implies $93 billion in lower wage income.
- In comparison, the wage gap following the 2000-‐2003 recession was 12%. Wages earned in advancing sectors fell $27 billion short of the annual wages lost in the declining sectors over 2000-‐2003.
- Extensive job losses in high-‐wage manufacturing ($63K) and construction ($58K) sectors were replaced by jobs in the lower wage sectors of hospitality ($21K), health care ($47K), and administrative support ($37K).
The Income Distribution in the US:
- The 2012 household median income of $51,017 was, in real terms, the lowest since 1995. The median was greater in the West ($55,157), and Northeast ($54,627), than in the South ($48,033) and Midwest ($50,479).
- The highest-‐earning 20% of households saw their share of income rise from 43.6% in 1975 to 51.0% in 2012. Most of this gain was among those in the highest 5% of income, which rose from 16.5% in 1975 to 22.3% in 2012, a gain of $490 billion in 2012.
- Each of the lower quintiles experienced a declining share of income since 1975. The lowest two quintiles, or 40% of households, received just 6.6% of all US income gains since 2005, and 9.5% of gains since 1995.
- The highest 20% of households captured 60.6% of total income gains from 2005 to 2012, and the top 5% received 27.6% of total gains.
- In 2012 the 80th percentile (the lowest income in the top 20%) income of $104,906 was more than double (2.04x) the median. That ratio has increased from 1.73 in 1975.