Changes in the Distribution of Workers’ Annual Earnings Between 1979 and 2007

Source: Congressional Budget Office, Pub. No. 4006, October 2009

From the CBO blog entry:
Understanding how the annual earnings of workers have changed over time is integral to projecting possible changes in such earnings in the future and considering government tax and spending policies that affect workers. Last week CBO released a paper documenting changes in workers’ annual earnings during the past three decades.

The paper first describes changes between 1979 and 2007 in the annual (inflation-adjusted) earnings of workers ages 25 to 54. CBO found, as depicted in the figures below, that men with relatively low, median, and relatively high earnings (specifically, men at the 10th, 50th, and 90th percentiles of their earnings distribution) earned more than women in the same position of their own earnings distribution in 2007, and that those differences were smaller in 2007 than in 1979.

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