Raw Data: Here Are Two Odd Factlets About Wages Among Men


Over at EPI, Elise Gould has a roundup of how wages are doing, and for the most part the news is unsurprising. The good news is that wages for ordinary folks were fairly robust last year. The bad news is that the bottom 50 percent has seen no gains since 2000 and income inequality continues to increase. There’s a ton of good data in her report, which you should take a look at if you want to take a deep dive into working wages.

However, I want to highlight two of her charts that are just plain peculiar. Here’s the first one:

It’s no surprise that the 95th percentile is rising faster than everyone else, but the last two years have been breathtaking. According to Gould’s data, men at the top have seen their wages go up 17 percent. Women at the top have done well too, but nothing like this. What’s going on?

Here’s the second oddball chart:

Look at that yellow line at the bottom. The very worst performance has been among men with some college. They’ve done worse than high school grads and worse even than high school dropouts. Their absolute wages are still higher than the high school crowd, but they’re losing ground. Once again, there’s a similar dynamic among women, though nowhere near as stark.

I have no insights to offer about either of these. They just seemed peculiar enough to share.