Archive for the ‘Income’ Category

The Inequality Staircase

January 18th, 2013

I posted a piece yesterday about the factors behind the growth of wage inequality.  Well, today we find the BLS releasing some relevant data on the issue.  The figure below shows the annual growth rates of weekly earnings of full-time workers by various wage percentiles. Two things to note: the staircase function characteristic of inequality… Read more

More on Social Security, Private Pensions, and Retirement Preparedness

January 11th, 2013

Recall this post on how the loss of defined benefit pensions underscores the need to protect our national public defined-benefit pension program: Social Security. Fellow blogger Kevin Drum responds to the post with this interesting look at income trends of older relative to younger households showing the older cohort to be doing much better in… Read more

Okun, Unemployment, and Wages

January 8th, 2013

I just finished reading a great little paper on Okun’s rule about the relationship between output gaps and the unemployment rate (I’d say it’s uniquely readable for this sort of thing, btw). Fifty years ago, when economists were a lot more likely to be driven by what the data actually did as opposed to what… Read more

When You’re Trying to Decide if We Need to Renew the Payroll Tax Break, Picture This

December 1st, 2012

It’s just a slide…in both senses of the word…of the real earnings—pretax, which is important—of middle-wage workers: blue collar workers in manufacturing and non-managers in services, adjusted for inflation.  And it’s not inflation holding back these wage rates—it’s the weak economy.   This series starts in 1964, and in nominal terms, it’s never grown more slowly… Read more