The latest long term update on employment and wage data is out, and its not remotely pretty:
The figures from payroll taxes reported to the Social Security Administration on jobs and pay are, in a word, awful.
There were fewer jobs and they paid less last year, except at the very top where, the number of people making more than $1 million increased by 20 percent over 2009. The median paycheck — half made more, half less — fell again in 2010, down 1.2 percent to $26,364. That works out to $507 a week, the lowest level, after adjusting for inflation, since 1999.
The number of Americans with any work fell again last year, down by more than a half million from 2009 to less than 150.4 million.
The chart shows the specifics of changes in employment and income; If you want to know why the OWS protests are finding resonance, look no further than this:
First look at US pay data, it’s awful
David Cay Johnston
Reuters, October 19, 2011