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.

DOES IT FEEL LIKE POLITICS IS AT A BREAKING POINT?

Headshot of Editor in Chief of Mother Jones, Clara Jeffery

It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

We kept coming back to one word: corruption. Democracy and the rule of law being undermined by those with wealth and power for their own gain. So we're launching an ambitious Mother Jones Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on systemic corruption, and asking the MoJo community to help crowdfund it.

We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We want to dig into the forces and decisions that have allowed massive conflicts of interest, influence peddling, and win-at-all-costs politics to flourish.

It's unlike anything we've done, and we have seed funding to get started, but we're looking to raise $500,000 from readers by July when we'll be making key budgeting decisions—and the more resources we have by then, the deeper we can dig. If our plan sounds good to you, please help kickstart it with a tax-deductible donation today.

Thanks for reading—whether or not you can pitch in today, or ever, I'm glad you're with us.

Signed by Clara Jeffery

Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our newsletters

Subscribe and we'll send Mother Jones straight to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate

Share your feedback: We’re planning to launch a new version of the comments section. Help us test it.