by USAFacts | Updated on 4.30.18
Wages are increasing, but long-term gains are greatest for higher paying jobs.
From 2008 to 2010, as the country fell into recession, total employment fell from 137.2 million jobs to 130.4 million jobs, a loss of nearly 6.9 million jobs or 0.044 jobs per working-age person (16-64). Since 2010, jobs have steadily returned, increasing each year to 146.6 million in 2017 (or 0.692 for every working-age person).
The number of minimum wage jobs more than doubled between 2008 and 2010. Each year since 2010, the number of minimum wage workers has decreased, reaching 2.15 million in 2016, lower than the number of minimum wage workers in 2008 before the recession. The federal minimum wage has remained at $7.25 since 2009, although 29 states and the District of Columbia have higher minimum wages.
The median annual wage across all occupations decreased between 2010 and 2014 but then reversed course, increasing two years in a row to reach $37,040 in 2016 (Fig. 84). The overall increase in median wage was driven by increases in wages in the three lowest-earning occupations (Fig. 85). Between 2014 and 2016 (after adjusting for inflation), wages grew in farming, fishing, and forestry by 14.5%, food preparation and serving by 7.3%, and personal care and services by 5.4%.
Written by USAFacts
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