ERIC Number: ED309302
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1988
Reference Count: N/A
The State of Working America.
Mishel, Lawrence; Simon, Jacqueline
A study gathered data that described recent changes in the economic well-being of U.S. workers and their families. Data, including family incomes, wages, fringe benefits, and employment, showed that, in 1987, after 5 years of recovery, the average worker was worse off economically than at the peak of the last business cycle. The typical family's real income was about the same as in 1979 and 1973. Families who maintained this standard of living did so by working more hours and having more members work. The gap between rich and poor people grew, with the upper 20 percent enjoying substantial income growth and the bottom 40 percent seeing incomes fall. Average hourly wages dropped by 7 percent between 1979 and 1987. The rate of job creation slowed considerably. Some 85 percent of the new jobs were in the lowest paying industries. Labor compensation as a share of all income was at the lowest level of any peak year since 1947; high interest rates resulted in income from property ownership rising three times faster. The ownership of wealth became more unequal and more concentrated at the top. Between 1979 and 1987, all progress in reducing poverty since the mid-1960s was reversed. (Document includes 20 figures, 91 tables, and source notes for the tables.) (YLB)
Descriptors: Adult Education, Economic Climate, Economic Status, Employment Patterns, Family Financial Resources, Family Income, Family Status, Labor Economics, Poverty, Quality of Life, Unemployment
Economic Policy Institute, 1730 Rhode Island Avenue, NW, Suite 812, Washington, DC 20036 ($5.00).
Publication Type: Information Analyses; Numerical/Quantitative Data
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Economic Policy Inst., Washington, DC.