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Low wage workers experienced wage growth faster than inflation in 2021: Real annual composition-adjusted wage growth by percentile, 2020–2021

Percentile Year
5th 1.1%
10th 1.1%
15th 1.0%
20th 0.6%
25th 0.3%
30th -0.1%
35th -0.5%
40th -0.9%
45th -1.2%
50th -1.5%
55th -1.7%
60th -1.8%
65th -1.9%
70th -2.0%
75th -2.2%
80th -2.3%
85th -2.4%
90th -2.7%


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Notes: Data refers to changes between January–December 2020 and January–December 2021. Wages are adjusted for inflation to February 2022 dollars using the CPI-U-RS. Wage changes are available only up to the 90th percentile because of topcoding issues (see Gould, deCourcy, and Mokhiber 2022).

Source: Authors’ analysis of Current Population Survey Outgoing Rotation Group microdata, EPI Current Population Survey Extracts, Version 1.0.27 (2022),

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