ERIC Number: ED346242
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1992
Declining Wages for High School and College Graduates. Pay and Benefits Trends by Education, Gender, Occupation, and State, 1979-1991. Briefing Paper.
Mishel, Lawrence; Bernstein, Jared
Wage analyses of several government surveys suggest that substantial, broad-based reductions in real wages occurred in the final years of the 1980s recovery. (Data sources are the hourly compensation data from the Employment Cost Index series and wage data from the Current Population Survey.) The wages of those who lost the most in the 1980s (high school graduates, blue-collar workers, and men) have continued to fall in recent years. Groups who enjoyed wage gains in the 1980s (college graduates, white-collar workers, and most women) have been experiencing falling real wages since 1987. Available data show a decline in average hourly compensation that began in 1987. Average wages have fallen 6 percent since 1987. Data show the following trends: (1) the median hourly wage for men in 1991 was 2.6 percent less than in 1989 and 14 percent less than in 1979; (2) the 5.3 percent gain in the median hourly wage for women from 1979 to 1989 was nearly entirely reversed by the 4 percent reduction from 1989 to 1991; (3) in the final stages of the last recovery, the wages of college-educated, white-collar workers began falling; (4) among men, only those with advanced or professional degrees had growing wages; (5) wages for male high school graduates had severely declined, down 16.1 percent from 1979 to 1991; and (6) New England was the only region to experience wage growth in the 1980s, but most New England states are now experiencing sizable wage reductions. (Appendixes include information on data sources and computations and a news release.) (YLB)
Descriptors: Blue Collar Occupations, College Graduates, Compensation (Remuneration), Educational Background, Employed Women, Employment Practices, Fringe Benefits, High School Graduates, High Schools, Higher Education, Males, Participant Characteristics, Professional Occupations, Salary Wage Differentials, Statistical Data, Trend Analysis, Vocational Education, Wages, White Collar Occupations
Economic Policy Institute, 1730 Rhode Island Avenue, N.W., Suite 200, Washington, DC 20036 ($5).
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Economic Policy Inst., Washington, DC.