Average wage growth slowed after 1979, but wage growth for typical workers slowed even more: Annual growth in wage measures, 1947–1979 and 1979–latest year available

Annual growth 1947–1979 Annual growth 1979–latest year available Ratio: Late to early period growth rates
(1) Average hourly wages, all workers 2.2% 0.7% 32.6%
(2) Average hourly wages, nonsupervisory workers 2.0% 0.3% 13.0%
(3) Average annual earnings, all workers 2.1% 0.9% 42.5%
(4) Annual annual earnings, bottom 90 percent 2.0% 0.5% 26.2%
(5) Average household earnings, all workers 1.9% 0.9% 49.3%
(6) Average household earnings, bottom 90 percent 1.8% 0.6% 34.1%

Notes: In row 1, average hourly wages are calculated by dividing total wage and salary income from the National Income and Product Account (NIPA) data from the Bureau of Economic Analysis, Table 2.1, by total hours worked by full- and part-time workers from NIPA Table 6.9. This gives a nominal hourly wage, which is deflated by the CPI-U-RS (as are all subsequent wage and earnings measures in this table). In row 2, hourly wages for production and nonsupervisory workers are taken from the Current Employment Statistics (CES) of the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The nominal values from the CES are again deflated by the CPI-U-RS. In rows 3 and 4, annual earnings are obtained from the Social Security Administration data on wage statistics, combined with data from Kopczuk, Saez, and Song (2010). In rows 5 and 6, data on wage income by tax units is obtained from data updates to Piketty and Saez 2003.

View the underlying data on epi.org.