Structural demand shifts and potential labor supply responses in the new century

Abstract: It is widely recognized that inequality of labor market earnings in the United States grew dramatically in recent decades. Over the course of more than three decades, wage growth was weak to nonexistent at the bottom of the distribution, strong at the top of the distribution, and modest at the middle. While real hourly earnings of workers in the bottom 30 percent of the earnings distribution rose by no more than 10 percentage points, earnings of workers at the 90th percentile rose by more than 40 percentage points. What is much less widely known, however, is that this smooth, monotone growth of wage inequality is a feature of a specific time period--and that this time period has passed.

Keywords: Labor supply; Wages;

Status: Published in Labor supply in the new century

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Bibliographic Information

Provider: Federal Reserve Bank of Boston

Part of Series: Monograph

Publication Date: 2007

Number: 52