Stagnant Wages

If you care about population health, you probably know that real wages have stagnated. Here’s the Economic Policy Institute on the depressing stagnation of wages over 40 years.



Given all the research on the effects of low income on health—because of long working hours, poor educational opportunities, lack of effective access to care, stress—we should probably be taking this on in a much bigger way as a public health issue. Not just the huge literature on income inequality and health. That’s clearly relevant – this graph says that were it not for the increase in inequality pay for the middle class would be 30% higher than it is now – but also concrete ways of redressing the gap: increases in the minimum wage could help (although the jury is still out on those effects), better laws against wage theft, higher marginal tax rates at the top.


Also, from the census press release:

Median household income in the United States in 2014 was $53,657, not statistically different in real terms from the 2013 median income. This is the third consecutive year that the annual change was not statistically significant, following two consecutive annual declines.

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