US employment and non-wage benefits

John.Pennington at John.Pennington at
Tue Aug 29 15:36:27 PDT 2000

In one of our major dailies one of New Zealand's favourite right wing sons claimed that even if the median real wage in the US is no higher today than in 1973 that 1. the real wage is an unreliable indicator of income levels and the distribution of income. 2. Non-wage benefits have surged since 1973, are omitted and now average 70% of wages and between 1973 and 1996 average hours worked fell by 10%. Our daring correspondant also claimed that most households on low incomes move to higher incomes over time. Between 1970 and 1997, real median household income in the US increased by 9% while that for Afro-American households increased by 16%.

I would really appreciate if someone could comment on this as the US economy is being used by the right - but not exclusively - as the the only game in town.


John Pennington

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