The wage growth in the US has significantly underperformed the workers’ productivity. It has done so regardless of a person’s education level, gender, occupation and race/ethnicity. Therefore, the workers who include white collars, blue collars and those with or without university or college degree have suffered wage stagnation for more than a decade. Moreover, the 2008 great recession resulted in a decline in the average wage trend in the US. Precisely, wage fell below 70% of the wage distribution (Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2010). There was a decline despite the country recording productivity growth of 7.7 percent. Therefore, workers in the US are enduring stagnant wages.
The living standards or conditions of the US citizens have changed since the late 1940s. Similarly, the income inequality in the country has changed over the last six decades. From 1947 to 1968, the country recorded a decline in family income inequality by 7.4% (United States Census Bureau, n.d). However, the inequality gap has increased steadily since the year 1970. The income gap between the top and the middle people in the distribution channel has widened most while the gap between the middle and the lower group has remained steadily stable.
In the US history, women have been earning less money than men. In the early 1800s, women used to earn less than 38% of the income men earned. Moreover, in the 1980s, the percentage of the women’s weekly earnings increased to 65% of what men earned. Therefore, the gender income gap has narrowed drastically over the last 25 years. Precisely, full-time women workers receive weekly earnings of about 80.2% of men’s income (Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2010). Sex segregation has been pointed out as the primary reason as to why we have a gender gap in the workplace. Although women have tried and increased their labor force participation, most working places remain segregated.
Bureau of Labor Statistics. (2010). Employment & earnings online. Retrieved from http://www.bls.gov/opub/ee/home.htm
United States Census Bureau. (n.d). Retrieved from http://www.census.gov/hhes/www/income.html
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