Young workers’ wages grow more quickly in response to falling unemployment than older workers’ wages : Change in median and average annual real wage growth in response to a 1-percentage-point decrease in the unemployment rate, by age group, 1980–2019

Outcome Ages 16–24 Ages 25+
Median 0.86 0.39
Average 0.76 0.34

Notes: Each bar is the coefficient from the regression of the real annual percent change in a given percentile’s wage on the measure of labor market tightness. Regressions include state and year fixed effects. See Bivens and Zipperer, The Importance of Locking in Full Employment (2018).

Source: Authors’ analysis of annual, state-level aggregations of EPI Current Population Survey Extracts, Version 1.08 (2020),, 1979–2019.

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