Monday, August 26, 2013

Inflation Adjusted Wages: 1975 through 2010

According to a recent study by the Economic Policy Institute real hourly wage (which is adjusted for inflation) for the median American worker hasn't risen at all since 2000. In fact, since 2007, every group besides those with an advanced degree — who made up just 11.4 percent of the population in 2012 — saw their hourly compensation decline.

The study goes into considerable detail on various segments of the workforce (e.g. those with advanced degrees, etc.) that I can't replicate historically anyway. However, in exploring the New York State Department of Labor there are data on historical wages for each county in the state. That coupled with the Bureau of Labor Statistics inflation calculator does allow me to look at wage data from 1975 through the year 2010, and adjust prior years to 2010 dollars.

So based on that, here is a graphical look at what wages appear to have done historically in our region between the mid-1970s and the year 2010, adjusted for inflation.

Click to Enlarge