Changing Inequality in Annual Earnings and Its Components

Rebecca M. Blank

in Changing Inequality

Published by University of California Press

Published in print July 2011 | ISBN: 9780520266926
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520950191 | DOI:
Changing Inequality in Annual Earnings and Its Components

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This chapter focuses on the labor market, looking at shifts in wages among workers. The results in this chapter emphasize the various ways in which the distribution and level of earnings have changed among employed men and women. It notes that the overall growth in skill levels in the U.S. workforce has shifted wages upward. It adds that women are working much more than before, so their annual earnings have grown markedly, largely due to increase in weeks worked per year. While hourly wages have become much more unequal, it notes that the rising inequality in wages has been somewhat offset by falling inequality in work effort among works, with more workers working full-time and full-year. It explains the result is that the overall distribution of annual earnings among workers has shifted upward, even while wage inequality rose. It details that some may be surprised to learn that annual earnings have grown among workers in the bottom half of the earnings distribution. It clarifies that the latter is due to greater work effort on the part of women.

Keywords: labor market; shifts in wages; earnings distribution; skill levels; U.S. workforce; inequality in wages; women; annual earnings

Chapter.  4979 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Race and Ethnicity

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