Good news: Real U.S. wage growth led by women over last Four Decades

Written on Apr 17, 2018

For Americans working a full week, inflation-adjusted wages have increased 4.4% since 1979, with pay for women accounting for the biggest percentage advance.

Real median earnings for the nation’s 113.4 million full-time wage and salary employees were $881 per week in the first quarter, up 1.8% from a year earlier. Since the first quarter of 1979, when the Bureau of Labor Statistics series started, inflation-adjusted wages are up $15 per week. That’s just 0.1% on an annualized basis.

Weekly pay for women working full-time has increased almost 24% over the last four decades, compared with a 6.1% decline for men. While women are making progress in percentage terms, their real median earnings are about $180 less than their counterparts. The statistics don’t adjust for gender differences across occupations and industries.

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