Annual earned income (in 2015 dollars) and the inflation-adjusted percentage change in annual earned income for selected percentiles across the income distribution. Data for 1980 through 2000 are based on surveys in those years but reflect income from the year prior, while data for 2010 represents a 2006-2010 average and data for 2015 represents a 2011-2015 average. Universe includes civilian noninstitutional full-time wage and salary workers ages 25-64. For more information, see the data and methods document. | National Equity Atlas Data & Methods: Technical Documentation
Earned income growth for full-time wage and salary workers:
Are incomes increasing for workers?
Why it matters
If growth was inclusive, all workers would see rising wages with the largest gains among lower-wage workers. Nationwide, the trend has been the opposite: the wages of low- and middle-wage workers have stagnated or declined while only top earners have seen rising wages. Inequitable income growth contributes to rising inequality which acts as a drag on economic growth.
Grow an equitable economy: Policies to create good jobs for all
- Raise the floor on low-wage work by increasing the minimum wage or enacting living-wage laws, requiring paid sick days, ending wage theft, strengthening workers’ rights to organize, and ensuring fair scheduling
- Target economic development and workforce efforts to grow high-opportunity sectors that provide pathways for people without four-year degrees
- Ensure entrepreneurs of color can access the capital and know-how to launch and expand their businesses
- Leverage the procurement power of anchor institutions to support local and minority-owned businesses including cooperatives
- Establish standards to ensure public investments create good jobs and economic opportunity
New York City Raises Wages for Thousands of Workers
In 2014, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio raised the wages of thousands of New Yorkers through an executive order that both expanded the number of workers covered by the city’s living-wage provisions and raised the actual wage. Starting immediately, the living wage was raised from $11.90 to $13.13 and will likely reach $15.22 by 2019. The living-wage expansion is estimated to cover 70 percent of all jobs at companies that do business with city agencies and boost the annual gross income for a minimum wage worker by over 60 percent. Roughly 18,000 workers should see their wages increase. Read more.