More economics from the trenches

Gordon Mohr
Tue, 30 Apr 2002 13:05:01 -0500

Owen Byrne writes:
> Actually my "I heard it on the radio" story comes out to be of the same
> order as your "Read it in Business Week":
> 1980-1991 0.2%*11 years
> 1991-1995 0.8%*4 years (based on avg. 1.3 from 1991-2001, but 2.1% from
> 1997-2001)
> Total 5.4%.

Through 1995, and not so bad of a figure given that it's
already inflation adjusted, and it is the average across 
all workers. 

That is, it is not the case that the "average
worker from 1980 is now making 5.4% more in 2001 than he
was making then." That would be pretty depressing. 
Instead, those 1980s workers are making much more... but
the retirement of 1980's high end, the the arrival of 
a new low-end of entry level workers, means the overall
average is just up a modest amount.

Through 2001, that real average wage gain since 1980 
becomes nearly 15%. That's nothing to sneeze at. 

Has any other developed nation done better?

- Gordon