If youâ€™ve been in the workforce since 1979,Â how much have your wages gone up? If youâ€™re a little younger, how much have the wages for a job like yours gone up in those years? I bet itâ€™s not 157.8%â€”unless, of course, youâ€™re in the top 1%.
By contrast, wages for the bottom 90% grewÂ by 23.9% between 1979 and 2018, according to an Economic Policy Institute analysis. The top 1% still lags one group, though, and thatâ€™s the top 0.1%, which saw its wages rise by 340.7% in those years.
This is economic inequality in action, and itâ€™s reshaped the economy. â€śThe bottom 90% earned 69.8% of all earnings in 1979 but only 61.0% in 2018. In contrast the top 1.0% increased its share of earnings from 7.3% in 1979 to 13.3% in 2018, a near-doubling,â€ť EPIâ€™s Lawrence Mishel and Melat Kassa write. â€śThe growth of wages for the top 0.1% is the major dynamic driving the top 1.0% earnings as the top 0.1% more than tripled its earnings share from 1.6% in 1979 to 5.1% in 2018.â€ť
This article was originally published at Daily Kos on December 21, 2019. Reprinted with permission.