If you’re the sort of person who reads economics blogs, you’ve probably heard that the median US worker has enjoyed hardly any income gain over the past few decades. Here are the numbers behind the noise (all corrected for inflation):
A mere 3% increase over 25 years does indeed look pretty grim. And note that the year 2005 is pre-crash, so what we’re seeing is not an artifact of the recession.
Now let’s look a little deeper and ask which demographic groups account for all this stagnation. White men? Nope, their median income is up 15%. Nonwhite men? Up 16%. White women? Up 75%. Non-white women? Up 62%. That’s everybody:
What gives? How can the median income shoot up in every demographic sector while the overall median remains nearly unchanged?