policy-driven inequality has undercut low- and middle-income workers for past three decades

May 9, 2015

The State of Working America, 12th Edition “The State of Working America, 12th Edition” finds that policy-driven inequality has undercut low and middle income workers for past three decades. Low and middle-income workers and their families would have had far better income growth over the past 30 years if economic policies had not directed the fruits of economic growth to the highest-income Americans, a new Economic Policy Institute book, “The State of Working America, 12th Edition” finds. For example, had there been no growth in income disparities since 1979, annual income for a middle-income household would have been $88,875 in 2007, $18,897 higher than the $69,978 it actually was. The median household lost wealth between 1983 and 2010 and had just $57,000 in net worth in 2010, rather than the $119,000 it would have had if wealth had grown equally across all households over this period. Like the 11 previous editions of “The State of Working America” that EPI has released since 1988, the new edition provides a comprehensive, data-based answer to the question, “How well has the economy worked for American families?” In the 12th edition, the first published in four years, economists Josh Bivens, Elise Gould, Lawrence Mishel and Heidi Shierholz analyze data on income, mobility, wages, jobs, wealth and poverty. Their analyses illuminate the economic experience of working Americans since the 1970s, when compensation and productivity growth diverged. For the first time, the entire book, including the full text and all of the charts, is available online and fully downloadable, along with summary fact sheets that include the book’s key findings. Additionally, the feature “Open Data” enables researchers to download additional data on selected income, jobs and wages charts. The username for the website is media and the password is $18,897. The website is under embargo until 12:01 a.m. EDT on Tuesday, September 11. “The State of Working America, 12th Edition” explains that economic policies, including policymakers’ actions and failures to act, have undercut the ability of workers to benefit from economic growth in the United States. For the entire press release, go to: http://stateofworkingamerica.org/12th-edition-press-release/

 

Source: http://stateofworkingamerica.org/12th-edition-press-release/ [verified 4/18/14]

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