Sunday, August 01, 2004

The New York Times > Business > Your Money > How Does It Feel in the Middle?

The New York Times > Business > Your Money > How Does It Feel in the Middle?:
"'Wages really have lagged,' said Nariman Behravesh, chief economist at Global Insight, an economic forecasting company in Waltham, Mass. 'There is a cyclical component to it, but it is quite a bit more pronounced than in past cycles.'

The disparity is also widening between middle-income and high-income earners. Adjusted for inflation, wages for middle-income men - those in the 50th percentile of earnings - were virtually flat at about $15 an hour between 1980 and 2003, according to a paper that will be published in September by the Economic Policy Institute, a liberal research group in Washington. By contrast, wages for high-income men - those in the 95th percentile of earnings - climbed by one-third, to $44 an hour in 2003 from $32 an hour in 1980.

'It has been going on for a long time,' said Lawrence Mishel, president of the Economic Policy Institute. 'Middle-wage workers have not done well over the past three decades.'"

David Autor, an associate professor of economics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, said middle- and lower-income workers enjoyed real gains during the economic boom from 1995 to 2000. But their earnings went flat once again after the recession in 2001, and have yet to start rising.

"What's happened in the last few years is that people's earnings have stagnated again, except for those at the top end," Professor Autor said. "It really hasn't been as much of a middle-income squeeze as a middle-income stagnation."

http://www.nytimes.com/2004/08/01/business/yourmoney/01econ.html?pagewanted=all&position=
con·cept: The New York Times > Business > Your Money > How Does It Feel in the Middle?