The State of Working America, 12th edition: Coming Tuesday, Sept. 11

The State of Working America is EPI’s authoritative analysis of the economic conditions of America’s workers. Visit for up-to-date numbers on the economy, updated when new data are released.

Aug. 29: Unions, inequality, and faltering middle-class wages

Figure AFigure A (continued)

Union coverage rate in the United States, 1973–2011

Source: Author's analysis of Hirsch and Macpherson (2003) and updates from the Union Membership and Coverage Database


July 24: U.S. poverty rates higher, safety net weaker than in peer countries

Figure DFigure D (continued)

Child poverty rate in selected developed countries, 2009

Note: The child poverty rate is the share of children living in households with income below half of household-size-adjusted median income.

Source: Adamson (2012, Figure 1b)

May 24: Labor force participation: Cyclical versus structural changes since the start of the Great Recession

May 2: CEO pay and the top 1%: How executive compensation and financial-sector pay have fueled income inequality

Figure AFigure A (continued)

CEO-to-worker compensation ratio, with options granted and options realized,1965–2011

Note: "Options granted" compensation series includes salary, bonus, restricted stock grants, options granted, and long-term incentive payouts for CEOs at the top 350 firms ranked by sales. "Options exercised" compensation series includes salary, bonus, restricted stock grants, options exercised, and long-term incentive payouts for CEOs at the top 350 firms ranked by sales.

Sources: Authors' analysis of data from Compustat ExecuComp database, Bureau of Labor Statistics Current Employment Statistics program, and Bureau of Economic Analysis National Income and Product Accounts Tables

April 26: The wedges between productivity and median compensation growth

”Figure”Figure (continued)

How bad are Trump’s policy instincts? He’s taking tax advice from Kansas governor Sam Brownback

In the last week, Donald Trump has backed away a bit from his ridiculous ideas to retire the federal debt by selling national assets and has noted his approval of the Federal Reserve’s low interest rate policies in recent years. This may have led some to question whether or not his policy instincts are really all that bad. They are.

To see why, one needs to dig into his plan for federal taxes. The regressiveness of this plan has been well-advertised: about 40 percent of the $9.5 trillion cut would eventually go to the top 1 percent. But look beyond this bullet point and you’ll see that Trump’s plan is so convoluted that a key loophole it contains has largely escaped analysis. This loophole is a piece of tax policy so bad that, at an Urban Institute panel on tax ideas from the campaign trail, Joe Rosenberg of the Tax Policy Center deemed it the worst tax idea from the campaign. To put it even more bluntly, this loophole is so bad that even the resolutely pro-tax cut Tax Foundation doesn’t like it.

Luckily, we already have evidence of just how bad this loophole is. This is because it has already helped blow a hole in the revenue of the only entity that has adopted it: the state of Kansas.

Read more

March 7: Entry-level workers’ wages fell in lost decade

Figure BFigure B (continued)

Entry-level wages of male and female college graduates

Other media outlets and blogs that have covered the data include BBC News, Forbes, Gawker, Huffington Post, In These Times, MarketPlace RadioNational Journal, PoliticoReuters, Village Voice, and the Washington Post.