Posts Tagged ‘chart’

hourly wages-1979-2013

According to the Economic Policy Institute [pdf],

For all but the highest earners, hourly wages have either stagnated or declined since 1979 (with the exception of a period of strong across-the-board wage growth in the late 1990s). Median hourly wages rose just 6.1 percent (or 0.2 percent annually) between 1979 and 2013, compared with a decline of 5.3 percent (or -0.2 percent annually) for the 10th percentile worker (i.e., the worker who earns more than only 10 percent of workers). Over the same period, the 95th percentile worker saw growth of 40.6 percent, for an annual gain of 1.0 percent.

During that same period, productivity in the U.S. economy grew 64.9 percent.

annual wages-1979-2012

Only the “wages” of the top 1 percent (when measured in terms of real annual wages) surpassed the growth of productivity. The cumulative change in the wages of all other groups was less.

In other words, most of the growing amount of value produced by American workers wasn’t paid back to them in the form of wages but, instead, was either retained by their employers or distributed to a tiny group of CEOs and managers at the top.

AD-1AD-2AD-3AD-4

According to USA Today, it costs about $130,000 for a household (of 2 parents and 2 children) in the United States to live the American Dream—to purchase the essentials, enjoy some extras, pay taxes, and put aside some money for retirement. (Yes, it surprised me, too.)

The issue of the American Dream comes up in many courses I teach. A typical definition?

the belief that with hard work and the freedom to pursue your destiny you can achieve success and provide better opportunities for your children.

Many of my students believe the American Dream has been achieved, or at least is within reach, for most people.

The problem is, according to the Census Bureau [pdf], only 15 percent of U.S. households (in 2012) had that kind of income. The rest may be chasing—but, in current circumstances, they’re falling short of achieving—that dream.

St. Louis

source

According to David Nicklaus,

St. Louis is not only one of the most segregated large metro areas in the U.S., it also has an unusually large economic gap between black and white. The unemployment rate for African-Americans here is about three times as high as the rate for whites.

According to census figures from 2012, 47 percent of the metro area’s African-American men between ages 16 and 24 are unemployed. The comparable figure for young white men is 16 percent.

Those figures should be just as shocking as the images of armed police confronting unarmed demonstrators, yet we take them for granted.

In Ferguson city itself (according to the Census Bureau’s American Community Survey), the overall unemployment rate is 13.2 percent: 8.4 percent for whites, almost twice that (16 percent) for African Americans.

Chart of the day

Posted: 21 August 2014 in Uncategorized
Tags: , , ,

student loans-per recipient

As evidence of the “coming student loan apocalypse,” Shahien Nasiripour provides data about the astounding growth in student loan debt. As you can see in the chart above, average federal student loan debt per borrower has risen more than 50 percent between 2007 (when it was $18,233) and 2014 (now $27,481).*

fredgraph

That’s what students (and their families owe). By way of comparison, in terms of ability to pay, what’s happened to workers’ pay in the United States during that same period? Well, it’s only gone up (in nominal, not real, terms) 16 percent (from $702.40 in July 2007 to $843.50 July 2014).

In other words, students and their families’ ability to service their student loans is falling further and further behind the amount of debt their forced to take on in order to pay for their education.

Something has to give. . .

 

*Total federal student loans have grown even more: by an extraordinary 112.5 percent over that same period.

student loans-total

incarceration

Neil Irwin, Claire Cain Miller, and Margot Sanger-Katz have assembled a series of charts documenting America’s enduring—and, in many cases, growing—racial divide. I have reproduced some of them below.

One of the key pieces of information they don’t include has to do with incarceration rates. As you can see from the chart above (from the Pew Research Center [pdf]), African American men were 5 times more likely to be incarcerated in 1960 than white men (relative to the size of each demographic group)—a rate that grew to over 16.5 in 2010.

Here are the other charts:

joblessness

unemployment

higher education

workplace

pay

wealth

health

homicide

chi-tribune-poll-support-for-an-increase-in-the-minimum-wage-20140818

More than 4 out of 5 voters back Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s proposal to raise the minimum wage from the current $8.25 an hour to $13 over the next three years. (There’s also a statewide ballot in November to raise the minimum wage to $10 an hour.)

living wage-Chicago

Just to put things into perspective, according to the Living Wage Calculator, the current minimum wage is less than the poverty wage for an adult with 2 children. And the proposal to raise the minimum wage next year to $9.50 an hour is still a dollar an hour less than a living wage for an adult with no children.

So, of course, the vast majority of people in Chicago support raising the minimum wage. It’s the least that can be done.

o-HUNGER-570

source

According to the United States Department of Agriculture, even as the unemployment rate continued to fall, fully 14.5 percent of U.S. households (17.6 million, or 49 million people) suffered from food insecurity at some time during 2012, a figure that was essentially unchanged from 14.9 percent in 2011.The prevalence of food insecurity declined from 11.9 percent of households in 2004 to 11.0 percent in 2005 and remained near that level until 2007. In 2008, the prevalence of food insecurity increased to 14.6 percent of households and was essentially unchanged at that level through 2012 (14.5 percent).

According to a new report from Feeding America [pdf], which provides food for 15.5 million households (or 46.5 million people) nationwide,

  • More than 12 million households are forced to eat unhealthy food because they can’t afford better-quality groceries. They risk adverse health effects that can make their financial plight worse.
  • 66 percent of households said they’ve had to choose between paying for food and paying for medicine or medical care. Thirty-one percent said they had to make that choice every month.
  • 69 percent of households that rely on food charities to survive have been forced to choose between paying for utilities and paying for food.

Put in terms any mainstream economist would understand: the supply of food-insecure households in the United States creates a high level of demand for federal programs like the federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program and for the 58,000 food programs associated with Feeding America.

And still it’s not enough.