Thursday, March 08, 2018

Men's Wages Are Increasingly Unequal

Trends in the real wages of men tell a story of growing inequality, according to an analysis by Patrick J. Purcell in Social Security Bulletin. Between 1981 and 2014, says Purcell, "the wage distribution became more unequal as wage growth in the top 10 percent of earners substantially outpaced the rate of growth for earners below the 90th percentile."

Real annual wage of men aged 25 to 59 by income percentile, 2014 (% change since 1981)
10th percentile: $13,387       (+3.8%)
25th percentile: $25,339       (–2.0%)
50th percentile: $45,000       (+4.7%)
75th percentile: $75,413      (+22.1%)
90th percentile: $121,763    (+50.7%)
99th percentile: $392,250  (+117.7%)

For all men, median real wages (50th percentile) climbed just 4.7 percent during those years. For men at the top of the wage distribution, real wages more than doubled.

Source: Social Security Bulletin, Trends in Men's Wages, 1981–2014

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