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Key labor market indicators and living-standards benchmarks, 1979–2011 (2011 dollars)

Payroll employment Unemployment rate Labor force participation rate Working-age employment-to-population ratio Median household income* Working-age median family income* Worker hourly wages Total economy productivity
10th percentile Median 95th percentile
1979 89,932 5.8% 63.7% 74.6% $47,535 $58,659 $8.53 $15.21 $36.28 $36.03
1989 108,014 5.3 66.5 79.9 50,633 62,048 7.29 15.12 38.99 40.98
1995 117,298 5.6 66.6 79.8 49,944 61,621 7.42 14.84 41.09 44.21
2000 131,785 4.0 67.1 81.5 54,851 69,233 8.24 15.99 45.44 49.62
2007 137,598 4.6 66.0 79.9 54,499 68,893 8.45 16.40 49.39 57.22
2011 131,359 8.9 64.1 75.1 51,014** 63,967** 8.16 16.07 49.74 60.83
Change***
1979–1989 1.8% -0.5 ppts. 2.8 ppts. 5.3 ppts. 0.6% 0.6% -1.6% -0.1% 0.7% 1.3%
1989–1995 1.4 0.3 0.1 -0.1 -0.2 -0.1 0.3 -0.3 0.9 1.3
1979–1995 1.7 -0.2 2.9 5.2 0.3 0.3 -0.9 -0.2 0.8 1.3
1995–2000 2.4 -1.6 0.5 1.7 1.9 2.4 2.1 1.5 2.0 2.3
2000–2007 0.6 0.6 -1.1 -1.6 -0.1 -0.1 0.4 0.4 1.2 2.1
1979–2007 1.5 -1.2 2.3 5.3 0.5 0.6 0.0 0.3 1.1 1.7
2000–2011 0.0 4.9 -3.0 -6.4 -0.7** -0.8** -0.1 0.0 0.8 1.9

* Data are for money income.

** Data are for 2010 (top panel) and 2000–2010 (bottom panel) due to data limitations.

*** Percent change numbers are annualized rates; percentage-point change numbers are cumulative change.

Source: Authors' analysis of Current Population Survey (CPS) public data series, CPS ASEC microdata and Historical Income Tables (Table H-5), CPS-ORG microdata, BLS Current Employment Statistics, and unpublished Total Economy Productivity data from BLS Labor Productivity and Costs program

Updated August 1, 2012

Documentation and methodology

See note for Table 1.1.

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