Chart Detail

Hourly wages by wage percentile, gender, and education, 1973–2011 (2011 dollars)

Real hourly wage Change
1973 1979 1989 1995 2000 2007 2011 1979–1989 1989–2000 2000–2007 2007–2011 1979–2011
High school
Men
Low $10.57 $9.79 $8.42 $8.18 $8.93 $8.70 $8.33 -14.0% 6.1% -2.6% -4.3% -14.9%
Median 19.06 18.67 16.34 15.07 15.88 15.84 15.00 -12.5 -2.8 -0.3 -5.3 -19.7
High 31.13 30.47 28.81 27.71 29.07 29.61 29.80 -5.4 0.9 1.8 0.7 -2.2
Women
Low $7.16 $8.17 $6.68 $6.97 $7.64 $7.61 $7.64 -18.2% 14.3% -0.4% 0.4% -6.4%
Median 11.83 11.56 11.56 11.39 12.17 12.19 12.01 0.0 5.4 0.1 -1.5 3.9
High 19.57 19.73 20.82 21.05 21.87 21.94 22.09 5.5 5.0 0.4 0.6 12.0
College
Men
Low $13.05 $12.63 $11.93 $11.41 $13.04 $12.54 $11.87 -5.5% 9.3% -3.8% -5.4% -6.0%
Median 24.50 23.81 24.74 24.41 26.97 26.98 25.96 3.9 9.0 0.0 -3.8 9.0
High 45.69 43.74 44.85 47.70 52.20 56.33 55.10 2.5 16.4 7.9 -2.2 26.0
Women
Low $10.04 $9.07 $9.41 $9.59 $10.65 $10.79 $10.12 3.7% 13.2% 1.3% -6.3% 11.5%
Median 17.34 15.75 18.18 19.34 20.92 20.87 20.25 15.4 15.0 -0.2 -3.0 28.5
High 27.39 26.77 31.67 35.84 40.12 41.69 41.15 18.3 26.7 3.9 -1.3 53.7

Note: Low, median, and high earners refer, respectively, to those earning the 10th, 50th, and 90th percentile wage.

Source: Authors' analysis of Current Population Survey Outgoing Rotation Group microdata

Updated May 14, 2012

Documentation and methodology

Table is based on analysis of CPS wage data described in Appendix B.

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