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

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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.

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DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

without free and fair elections, a vigorous free press, and engaged citizens to reclaim power from those who abuse it.

In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily crazy—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

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