Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Good News on Wages, Income and Wealth

My last entry showed how we were doing well on jobs.

Median family income rose in 2005. The real or inflation-adjusted hourly wage is higher for all income levels than in 1973, according to Janet Yellen, President of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco (she actually used data from Economic Policy Institute). Even the poorest 10% of the workers are 5% higher. That may seem low, especially compared to the 30% jump the top 10% had. But from 1973-95, the bottom 10% actually saw their real hourly wage fall 5%. So things have picked up since then. Go to Yellen Speech and Larger view of graph of wage changes

Real per capita GDP has more than doubled since 1970.

Median real family net worth rose about 31% from 1995-2004 (but only up 1.5% 2001-04). The median removes the bias of the mean or simple average, which could rise simply if those at the very top had large gains. The simple average of real family net worth rose for all income brackets. Go to FED Study

Consumption is up, too. From 1970-2000, real per capita consumption (not counting health care) rose about 85% (and up 8% just since 2000). It is not only the upper income groups who are consuming more. In 1960, the top 20% of income earners spent a little under 6 times more on consumption than the poorest 20%. In 2005 this ratio was just a little above 6. This means both the rich and poor increased their consumption by about the same rate since 1960. Consuming more goods and services contributes to our well being. Got that from the micro principles book by Miller

1 comment:

champ said...

so looking at the situation for what it is worth, everybody is better off now than before. I guess at least those that have jobs.