Workers’ wages across the board have failed to rise on pace with productivity: Productivity growth compared with typical worker wage growth and wage growth by race/ethnicity, 1979–2020

Year Typical worker White workers Black workers Hispanic workers

Productivity

1979 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
1980 -0.6% -0.3% -1.4% -1.1% -2.7%
1981 -1.7% -2.7% -3.9% -5.3% -0.9%
1982 -2.1% -1.1% -4.6% -4.5% -1.8%
1983 -1.9% -1.9% -4.2% -5.4% 1.1%
1984 -1.4% -0.7% -4.4% -4.3% 3.6%
1985 0.1% -1.1% -4.5% -4.8% 5.2%
1986 0.8% 1.9% -2.4% -4.9% 7.7%
1987 1.9% 1.6% -2.2% -4.9% 7.0%
1988 0.5% 2.2% -0.3% -6.1% 8.6%
1989 0.3% 1.9% -3.0% -7.8% 9.4%
1990 0.2% 2.1% -2.4% -8.7% 9.7%
1991 -0.6% 3.6% -3.5% -10.0% 10.5%
1992 0.4% 2.2% -2.8% -9.2% 14.8%
1993 1.9% 0.7% -3.5% -10.0% 15.3%
1994 0.8% -0.6% -4.9% -12.1% 16.2%
1995 -0.6% 1.1% -4.3% -13.3% 16.4%
1996 -2.3% 2.0% -4.5% -10.9% 17.8%
1997 -0.3% 3.9% -2.4% -11.6% 19.6%
1998 3.3% 7.5% 2.4% -8.0% 22.2%
1999 5.9% 9.2% 5.0% -6.7% 24.9%
2000 6.5% 10.5% 4.7% -6.6% 26.3%
2001 8.1% 13.8% 5.3% -2.1% 27.7%
2002 9.8% 14.8% 8.1% -1.4% 31.5%
2003 9.9% 15.6% 10.4% -2.7% 35.9%
2004 11.1% 16.1% 11.2% -4.8% 39.6%
2005 9.5% 13.3% 7.0% -4.7% 41.8%
2006 9.9% 13.5% 7.9% -2.4% 42.5%
2007 10.1% 14.0% 6.0% -0.5% 43.4%
2008 9.2% 14.8% 5.6% -0.3% 41.6%
2009 11.6% 16.9% 10.0% 0.3% 46.8%
2010 10.9% 16.1% 9.4% -1.8% 51.0%
2011 8.2% 13.8% 6.0% -4.3% 49.5%
2012 6.9% 14.5% 3.2% -4.5% 49.9%
2013 7.4% 13.8% 5.5% -4.5% 51.0%
2014 7.5% 13.8% 3.3% -2.6% 52.1%
2015 9.2% 17.0% 4.1% 0.2% 54.8%
2016 11.2% 17.9% 8.7% 4.1% 55.0%
2017 12.1% 19.5% 6.8% 8.0% 56.2%
2018 14.0% 20.0% 5.2% 6.4% 57.8%
2019 15.1% 22.1% 10.5% 10.4% 59.6%
2020 23.1% 30.1% 18.9% 16.7% 61.7%

Note: Race and ethnicity categories are mutually exclusive (i.e., white non-Hispanic, Black non-Hispanic, and Hispanic any race). 

Source: EPI analysis of unpublished Total Economy Productivity data from Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) Labor Productivity and Costs program, wage data from the BLS Current Employment Statistics, BLS Employment Cost Trends, BLS Consumer Price Index, and Bureau of Economic Analysis National Income and Product Accounts.

View the underlying data on epi.org.