Social and economic status of an individual or group can be measured as a blend of wealth, income, occupation, and education. Other contributors to social and economic status include race, ethnicity, home ownership, family size, family types, and even types of foods purchased. The combination of social and economic status can reveal a group or individual’s unequal access to resources, privilege, power, and control in a society. This Spotlight on Statistics examines Consumer Expenditure Survey data to explore the patterns of social and economic factors by race and ethnicity.
Trump’s corporate tax cut hasn’t benefited workers like he said it would.
Real Earnings Summary – May 2018
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, Economic News Release, USDL-18-0996, June 12, 2018
Real average hourly earnings for all employees increased 0.1 percent from April to May, seasonally adjusted, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. This result stems from a 0.3-percent increase in average hourly earnings being offset by a 0.2-percent increase in the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U).
Real average weekly earnings increased 0.1 percent over the month due to the increase in real average hourly earnings combined with the unchanged average workweek.
Real average hourly earnings were unchanged, seasonally adjusted, from May 2017 to May 2018. Combined with a 0.3-percent increase in the average workweek, real average weekly earnings increased by 0.3 percent over this period. ….
…. Production and nonsupervisory employees
…. From May 2017 to May 2018, real average hourly earnings decreased 0.1 percent, seasonally adjusted…..
Source: PayScale, Inc., June 2018
From the press release:
Today, PayScale, Inc., the world’s leading provider of precise, on-demand compensation data and software, released new research showing which employees are asking for pay raises and which employees are receiving them. This study is designed to educate both employees and employers about biases which may impact pay decisions in an effort to achieve equitable pay raises regardless of race or gender. One of the key findings from the “Raise Anatomy” report is that white men are far more likely to actually get a raise when they ask for it than a person of color. ….
Key findings from the report:
• The majority of employees (70 percent) who asked for a raise received at least some pay increase.
• Of those who asked for a raise, 39 percent of employees got the amount they requested, while 31 percent received a smaller raise than requested.
• People of color were significantly less likely than white men to have received a raise when they asked for one. Women of color were 19 percent less likely to have received a raise than a white man and men of color were 25 percent less likely. (Note: No single gender or racial/ethnic group was more likely to have asked for a raise than any other group.)
• The most common justification for denying a raise was budgetary constraints (49 percent). Only 22 percent of employees who heard this rationale actually believed it.
• One third of workers report that no rationale was provided when they were denied a raise.
• When workers don’t believe the rationale, or aren’t provided one, they reported lower rates of satisfaction with their employer and reported being more likely to quit.
• Of those who said that they did not ask for a raise, 30 percent reported their reason for not asking was they received a raise before they felt the need to ask their manager.
• Employees who are most satisfied with their work and their employers are those who agreed with the statement: “I’ve always been happy with my salary.” ….
How to boost your odds of getting a raise: Ask for one, and be a white man
Source: Rachel Siegel, Washington Post, June 6, 2018
Solving rural poverty in Arkansas will take more than odd jobs from smartphone apps.
From the press release:
While women in the U.S. who work full time, year round are typically paid just 80 cents for every dollar paid to their male counterparts, the wage gap between working mothers and fathers is even larger. Mothers typically are paid only 71 cents for every dollar paid to fathers, which translates to a loss of $16,000 annually, according to new National Women’s Law Center (NWLC) analysis of Census data. The motherhood wage gap exists in every state and can mean mothers lose thousands of dollars more than the national figure: mothers do best in Maine, where they are paid 85 cents for every dollar paid to fathers, and worst in Utah, where they are paid only 58 cents for every dollar paid to fathers. ….
Key findings of the analysis include:
– More than 2 in 5 mothers (42.2 percent) are employed in one of twelve occupations, and in every one of those occupations, mothers are paid between 52 cents and 85 cents for every dollar paid to fathers.
– The wage gap exists for mothers at every education level.
– Among full-time, year-round workers, mothers with a high school degree make just 68 cents for every dollar paid to fathers with a high school degree.
– Fathers who earn a master’s degree or a doctoral degree are typically paid $100,000 and $115,000 respectively. Conversely, mothers who complete these degrees are typically paid no more than $90,000 annually.
– Asian/Pacific Islander mothers are paid 85 cents for every dollar paid to white, non-Hispanic fathers; white, non-Hispanic mothers are paid 69 cents; Black mothers, 54 cents; Native mothers, 49 cents; and Latina mothers, 46 cents. The wage gap persists for mothers of all ages
Blame for the gender wage gap in the United States shouldn’t fall on women, report researchers.
In a review paper, they draw on existing psychological research to highlight myths regarding the gap between men and women and to offer possible explanations for why it exists. ….
5 myths about the gender wage gap:
Myth 1: Women aren’t doing equal work. ….
Myth 2: Women leave the workplace to have and raise children. ….
Myth 3: Women choose less lucrative professions. ….
Myth 4: Women don’t ask for what they want. ….
Myth 5: Women don’t have as much education or experience as men. ….
6 ways organizations can eliminate the wage gap:
1. Identify and remove barriers. ….
2. Provide equal growth opportunities. ….
3. Take action toward implementing better work/life balance. ….
4. Provide ongoing training. ….
5. Have anti-discrimination policies. ….
6. Have and promote male allies. ….
Victim Precipitation and the Wage Gap
Source: Shannon Cheng, Abigail Corrington, Mikki Hebl, Linnea Ng, Volume 11, Issue 1 March 2018
In response to: Beyond Blaming the Victim: Toward a More Progressive Understanding of Workplace Mistreatment
From the abstract:
Cortina, Rabelo, and Holland (2018) accurately cite the general public’s overuse of victim precipitation ideologies, or the notion that victims engage in actions that directly bring about their unfortunate circumstances. These ideologies also have permeated industrial and organizational (I-O) psychology and the study of people in the workplace (e.g., women’s choice in clothing leads to sexual harassment, certain target characteristics and actions incite workplace bullying). We agree with Cortina et al. that this ideology unintentionally benefits the perpetrator by placing blame and responsibility for nonoptimal workplace situations directly on the target. The field of I-O psychology needs to move away from this model of victim blaming as a remediation for workplace disparities.
Source: Tom VanHeuvelen, Social Forces, Advance Access, Published: May 30, 2018
From the abstract:
The decline of labor unions in the United States has been central to the rise of wage inequality since the early 1970s. Recently, sociologists have noted that unionization influences inequality through both direct and indirect pathways, reconciled with the concept of the moral economy, broadly shared norms of fairness institutionalized in market rules and customs that can reduce inequality in pay. While the theory of the moral economy has been resonant in the stratification literature, few have held it to empirical scrutiny. The current study assesses how selection bias from unobserved worker-level heterogeneity influences the associations between unionization and wage attainment and dispersion. To do so, I merge data from the Current Population Survey to 33 waves of longitudinal data from the Panel Study of Income Dynamics. Using combinations of variance function regression models, fixed-effects regression models, and dynamic panel models, I find that the magnitudes of associations tend to be reduced by around half after accounting for unobserved heterogeneity. Yet, more critically, the pathways linking unions and wage inequality via the moral economy prove to be remarkably robust to all tests cast upon them. Results highlight the fundamental importance of labor power resources for the contemporary rise of inequality. They provide a micro-level foundation for theories linking unionization and stratification. They identify the importance of union decline for rising earnings volatility. And they provide implications for the fallout of economic well-being for workers following antiunion policy change. Additional theoretical and policy implications are discussed.
Source: Henry S. Farber, Daniel Herbst, Ilyana Kuziemko, Suresh Naidu, NBER Working Paper No. 24587, May 2018
From the abstract:
It is well-documented that, since at least the early twentieth century, U.S. income inequality has varied inversely with union density. But moving beyond this aggregate relationship has proven difficult, in part because of the absence of micro-level data on union membership prior to 1973. We develop a new source of micro-data on union membership, opinion polls primarily from Gallup (N ≈ 980, 000), to look at the effects of unions on inequality from 1936 to the present. First, we present a new time series of household union membership from this period. Second, we use these data to show that, throughout this period, union density is inversely correlated with the relative skill of union members. When density was at its peak in the 1950s and 1960s, union members were relatively less-skilled, whereas today and in the pre-World War II period, union members are equally skilled as non-members. Third, we estimate union household income premiums over this same period, finding that despite large changes in union density and selection, the premium holds steady, at roughly 15–20 log points, over the past eighty years. Finally, we present a number of direct results that, across a variety of identifying assumptions, suggest unions have had a significant, equalizing effect on the income distribution over our long sample period.
There Is Power in a Union
Source: Mike Konczal, The Nation, May 23, 2018
Women continue to earn less than men in nearly all occupations, but this is more pronounced in fields that predominantly employ men and in professions with a comparable mix of men and women. The largest pay gap is within the finance and sales professions.
Overall, women are also more likely to be employed in lower-paying jobs.
The data highlighted above comes from a recently released detailed table from the American Community Survey. It looks at the gender pay gap for more than 300 occupations. ….
Source: AFL-CIO, 2018
In 2017, CEOs of S&P 500 Index companies received, on average, $13.94 million in total compensation, according to the AFL-CIO’s analysis of available data. America’s production and nonsupervisory workers earned only $38,613, on average, in 2017—a CEO-to-worker pay ratio of 361 to 1.