For the first time since the great depression (and possibly even then), US wage earners suffered through A Decade With No Income Gains.
The typical American household made less money last year than the typical household made a full decade ago.
To me, that’s the big news from the Census Bureau’s annual report on income, poverty and health insurance, which was released this morning. Median household fell to $50,303 last year, from $52,163 in 2007. In 1998, median income was $51,295. All these numbers are adjusted for inflation.
In the four decades that the Census Bureau has been tracking household income, there has never before been a full decade in which median income failed to rise. (The previous record was seven years, ending in 1985.) Other Census data [Historical Income Tables] suggest that it also never happened between the late 1940s and the late 1960s. So it doesn’t seem to have happened since at least the 1930s.
Given that we are likely to have Structurally High Unemployment For A Decade, this trend of stagnant or falling wages can last much longer than most realize.
Here's something to think about: If the housing boom from 2000 to 2007 produced no sustainable wage increases (if indeed any wage increases at all) what will? After pondering that, think about where home prices are going with poor wage potential and tightened lending standards.
Indeed what does this trend say about price pressures in general? link
Wow, that's quite an achievement. For as long as the census bureau has been tracking wages, the American worker has never been as bad off as the last ten years. And as Mish ominously points out, if the last few bubbles did nothing to bring wages up, then nothing will. The bottom line here is no matter what job you do, there will always be a Chinese, Indian, Ecuadoran, or Mexican who can do that job cheaper.
We're only holding on as much as we are due to our "service" economy, wherein foreign labor can't physically be here to take those service jobs. But even those service jobs are going.. anything that can be done over the phone is being transfered to Inida.. and as telecommuting technology develops, more and more jobs will head overseas (Indians speak English and work cheap.. the Chinese are also rapidly catching up in English fluency).
And if that weren't bad enough, we've got a southern border wide open to all of central and south america. Oh, and let's not forget the open floodgates of the H1B visas. It's almost as if someone is determined to destroy the American economy, whether through shipping the jobs out or shipping the low wage foreign workers in.