Overview

Daily stock indices, monthly employment reports, and even quarterly data on the gross domestic product are insufficient indicators for answering this vital question: How well is the American economy providing acceptable growth in living standards for most households? EPI’s The State of Working America, 12th Edition looks broadly at available data and concludes that the answer is simply “not well at all.”

This is not because the economy has failed to grow, on average. National income has grown enough to substantially improve the fortunes for all. As the data reveal, however, it is the top 5, the top 1 and fractions of the top 1 percent that have received almost all the benefits of the economy’s growth.

The Great Recession: Causes and consequences

  • Thumbnail:

    Figure 1A in State of Working America 12th Edition

  • Thumbnail:

    Figure 1B in State of Working America 12th Edition

Economic ‘lost decades’: Weak growth for most Americans’ wages and incomes before and likely after the Great Recession

  • Thumbnail:

    Table 1.1 in State of Working America 12th Edition

  • Thumbnail:

    Figure 1C in State of Working America 12th Edition

  • Thumbnail:

    Figure 1D in State of Working America 12th Edition

  • Thumbnail:

    Figure 1E in State of Working America 12th Edition

  • Thumbnail:

    Figure 4A in State of Working America 12th Edition

Extraordinarily unequal growth before the lost decade: Rising inequality blocks income and wage growth from 1979 to 2007

  • Thumbnail:

    Figure 1H in State of Working America 12th Edition

  • Thumbnail:

    Figure 1K in State of Working America 12th Edition

  • Thumbnail:

    Table 1.2 in State of Working America 12th Edition

  • Thumbnail:

    Figure 1L in State of Working America 12th Edition

  • Thumbnail:

    Figure 2C in State of Working America 12th Edition

  • Thumbnail:

    Figure 2M in State of Working America 12th Edition

  • Thumbnail:

    Figure 2Y in State of Working America 12th Edition

  • Thumbnail:

    Figure 3H in State of Working America 12th Edition

  • Thumbnail:

    Figure 3U in State of Working America 12th Edition

Today’s private economy: Not performing for middle-income Americans

  • Thumbnail:

    Table 1.3 in State of Working America 12th Edition

Today’s economy: Different outcomes by race and gender

  • Thumbnail:

    Figure 1P in State of Working America 12th Edition

  • Thumbnail:

    Table 1.4 in State of Working America 12th Edition

  • Thumbnail:

    Table 1.5 in State of Working America 12th Edition

  • Thumbnail:

    Figure 5I in State of Working America 12th Edition

Get the data behind the charts.

Explore Our Charts

Subject

Demographic

Select a subject or demographic

Interactive feature

Interactive feature promo image When income grows, who gains?

For the media

Economic Policy Institute Media Relations Department (202) 775–8810 |