Chart Detail

Contribution of hours versus hourly wages to annual wage growth for working-age households, by income group, selected years, 1979–2007 (2011 dollars)

Change
1979 1989 1995 2000 2007 1979–
1989
1989–
1995
1995–
2000
2000–
2007
1979–
2007
Real average annual wages
All $59,723 $65,858 $70,210 $78,883 $78,768 9.8% 6.4% 11.6% -0.1% 27.7%
Bottom fifth 14,596 14,855 14,346 17,090 16,507 1.8 -3.5 17.5 -3.5 12.3
Second fifth 32,792 33,773 32,700 36,817 35,980 2.9 -3.2 11.9 -2.3 9.3
Middle fifth 49,260 51,729 50,561 56,335 55,560 4.9 -2.3 10.8 -1.4 12.0
Fourth fifth 66,410 71,972 72,651 80,791 81,220 8.0 0.9 10.6 0.5 20.1
80th–<95th percentile 91,395 103,913 107,185 120,541 123,076 12.8 3.1 11.7 2.1 29.8
Top 5 percent 128,656 159,249 219,365 264,547 254,701 21.3 32.0 18.7 -3.8 68.3
Annual hours worked
All 3,092 3,286 3,317 3,378 3,314 6.1% 0.9% 1.8% -1.9% 6.9%
Bottom fifth 1,716 1,884 1,837 1,977 1,880 9.4 -2.5 7.4 -5.0 9.2
Second fifth 2,543 2,797 2,811 2,908 2,787 9.5 0.5 3.4 -4.2 9.2
Middle fifth 3,007 3,273 3,323 3,395 3,335 8.5 1.5 2.2 -1.8 10.3
Fourth fifth 3,424 3,604 3,688 3,774 3,719 5.1 2.3 2.3 -1.5 8.3
80th–<95th percentile 3,816 3,976 4,005 4,035 3,997 4.1 0.7 0.7 -0.9 4.6
Top 5 percent 3,939 4,069 4,057 3,984 4,013 3.2 -0.3 -1.8 0.7 1.9
Real average hourly wages
All $19.32 $20.04 $21.17 $23.35 $23.77 3.7% 5.5% 9.8% 1.8% 20.8%
Bottom fifth 8.51 7.88 7.81 8.64 8.78 -7.6 -0.9 10.1 1.6 3.2
Second fifth 12.90 12.07 11.63 12.66 12.91 -6.6 -3.7 8.5 1.9 0.1
Middle fifth $16.38 $15.81 $15.22 $16.59 $16.66 -3.6% -3.8% 8.7% 0.4% 1.7%
Fourth fifth 19.40 19.97 19.70 21.41 21.84 2.9 -1.4 8.3 2.0 11.8
80th–<95th percentile 23.95 26.14 26.76 29.87 30.79 8.7 2.4 11.0 3.0 25.1
Top 5 percent 32.66 39.14 54.07 66.40 63.47 18.1 32.3 20.5 -4.5 66.4
Contributions to annual wage growth
Hours worked
All 62.3% 14.5% 15.8% 1321.3% 25.0%
Bottom fifth 531.5 73.0 42.2 145.4 74.4
Second fifth 323.8 -15.4 28.6 184.7 99.0
Middle fifth 173.0 -66.2 20.0 130.1 85.9
Fourth fifth 63.9 245.3 21.7 -276.5 41.1
80th–<95th percentile 31.9 23.7 6.3 -45.0 15.6
Top 5 percent 15.2 -0.9 -9.7 -19.0 2.7
Hourly wages
All 37.7% 85.5% 84.2% -1221.3% 75.0%
Bottom fifth -431.5 27.0 57.8 -45.4 25.6
Second fifth -223.8 115.4 71.4 -84.7 1.0
Middle fifth -73.0 166.2 80.0 -30.1 14.1
Fourth fifth 36.1 -145.3 78.3 376.5 58.9
80th–<95th percentile 68.1 76.3 93.7 145.0 84.4
Top 5 percent 84.8 100.9 109.7 119.0 97.3

Note: Income groups refer to working-age households in various sections of the income distribution as measured by money income. Percentage changes are approximated by taking the difference of natural logs of wages and hours.

Source: Authors' analysis of the Current Population Survey Annual Social and Economic Supplement microdata

Updated May 21, 2012

Documentation and methodology

Underlying data are from Current Population Survey Annual Social and Economic Supplement microdata; see Appendix A for details. Households are ranked in the same way as in the Congressional Budget Office data—by household income divided by the square root of household size. Average annual wages and annual hours worked for each income group are then calculated, and a household average for hourly wages is calculated by dividing annual wages by annual hours. Data are inflated to 2011 dollars using the CPI-U-RS.

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