Economic Snapshot | Trade and Globalization

Growing inequality between middle- and high-wage workers

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Snapshot for December 15, 1999

Growing inequality between middle- and high-wage workers

The chart below shows that there has been a growing wage inequality among the top half of the workforce since 1979. This is illustrated by the growth of the pay gap (the 90/50 wage ratio) between a high-wage worker (at the 90th percentile) and a middle-wage worker (at the 50th percentile, or median). The growth in wage inequality is evident among both men and women. In the last few years, however, there has been a leveling off, but no decline, of wage inequality in the top half of the wage distribution.

Source: Mishel, et al. 1999. The State of Working America 1998-99. Cornell University Press.

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