Growing Wage Inequality, the Minimum Wage, and the Future Distribution of Retirement Income

Wage inequality in the United States has been rising since the 1970s. Although its growth has slowed in recent years, the forces driving wage inequality persist. Increased wage inequality has especially hurt workers near the bottom of the wage distribution, where inflation-adjusted earnings have fallen over the past few decades. Changes in the distribution of […]

Income and Wealth Disparities Continue through Old Age

A substantial number of older Americans born from 1931 through 1941 lived at least into their 70s or early 80s, according to GAO’s analysis of data from the Health and Retirement Study (HRS), a nationally representive survey which follows the same individuals over time. GAO divided individuals born from 1931 through 1941 into quintiles based […]

Wage growth is weak for a tight labor market—and the pace of wage growth is uneven across race and gender

While unemployment rates in this recovery are similar to what we saw in the late 1990s recovery, wages have not grown nearly as fast or as evenly across race and gender as they did during that period. From 1996 to 2000, wage growth was above 9% for white men, white women, and black women, and […]

The Federal Reserve Board’s Recent Figures on the Outrageous Unequal Distribution of Wealth

The wealthiest 1% held 23.3% of the nation’s total wealth in 1989. That amount grew to 31.1% as of the first quarter of 2019. The share of the wealthiest 10% that includes the top 1% went from 60.8% to 70.1% meaning that over 80% of the increase in the share of the top 10%’s net […]