The lowest-wage workers had the strongest wage growth during the pandemic: Real wage growth across the wage distribution, 2019–2022

Wage group Wage change
Low-wage<br>(10th percentile) 9.00%
Lower-middle-wage<br>(avg 20th–40th) 3.90%
Middle-wage<br>(avg 40th–60th) 2.40%
Upper-middle-wage<br>(avg 60th–80th) 1.80%
High-wage<br>(90th percentile) 4.90%

Notes: Low-wage is represented by the 10th percentile and high-wage is represented by the 90th percentile. The lower-middle, middle, and upper-middle-wages are the averages of the 20th–40th percentiles, the 40th–60th percentiles, and the 60th–80th percentiles, respectively.

Source: EPI analysis of the Current Population Survey Outgoing Rotation Group microdata, EPI Current Population Survey Extracts, Version 1.0.37 (2023),

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