Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Most Americans are living on a fixed income

And damned lucky to have it.

But this is not about retired baby boomers, or any other kind of boomers.

This is about thems what's workin'.

Workers' salaries lost ground in past decade
Median weekly wages, when adjusted for inflation, fell slightly for both high school and college graduates from 2000 to 2009, according to a recent analysis by the Economic Policy Institute, a Washington think tank.

For high school graduates, median inflation-adjusted wages were $626 per week in 2009, compared with $629 in 2000, according to EPI. If you assume a worker gets paid for a full year, that adds up to $32,552 in 2009, down from $32,708 in 2000.

For college graduates, weekly wages were $1,025 in 2009, compared with $1,030 in 2000, according to EPI. Over one year, that works out to $53,300 last year, down from $53,560 in 2000.

But the recent recession isn't to blame for the "prolonged period of wage stagnation," according to EPI.

"Between 2002 and December of 2007, the country was in a period of economic expansion and for most of that time, from 2003 through 2007, wages fell," the study said.

"Even with low inflation over the past year we have seen wages lagging," Bivens said. "The recession is so deep and widespread that even those close to the top of [the income scale] will do much worse than they have been accustomed to doing. The pain will not be spread evenly, but it will be the very fortunate worker who does not see slower wage growth."

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