So, how does America’s middle class compare to those around the world? Not as good as it used to.
It takes a second to absorb these charts, but they show how other countries’ middle class incomes have closed the gap on the USA from 1980 to 2010. Except for our top income brackets – they are still the richest of all.
The original article tries to explain parts of this trend.
According to a new analysis of Bureau of Labor Statistics data, the industries responsible for the most job creation over the last four years are also the industries that pay the least.
According to this Harvard study, on average people today are just as likely to be better off than our parents than the generation 50 years ago was. I wonder if they adjusted incomes for debt? (I’m too lazy to check).
I’m not sure why it took the Washington Post six months longer than the NYT to do an article and map about this. NYT’s interactive map/chart combo helps grasp what they’re measuring:
Interesting breakdown of the costs of military and national guard personnel, and how they’ve been used this century. (related article)
We really need to raise the minimum wage. As some have pointed out, if a worker can work full time and still not support himself and his family, then the government has to step in with food stamps, housing vouchers, and other big government programs that everyone hates. The low minimum is basically a government subsidy for companies that don’t give a shit about their employees. And contrary to fear mongers, raising the minimum wage does not increase inflation or unemployment.
I like it. It never occurred to me to use colored lines to differentiate rising and falling values in this type of chart. I would suggest sorting by the change instead of the most recent observation, but I suppose it would depend on the point you were trying to make.
Jobs that pay from $14-21 have been hit the hardest during the recession.
And low wage jobs make up a lot of the employment recovery. When capital is so subsidized by the government (low interest rates + QE), labor will be less in demand.
Interesting interactive scatter showing median salaries vs number of people employed – with the color of the dots indicating expected growth by 2020. You can filter by category of employment to cut down the dots a bit. It would have been nice if you could filter by expected growth rate as well.
A lot of tree maps are gibberish. This one drives home the structural changes in the job market quite clearly. It’s part of Catherine Mulbrandon’s awesome book “An Illustrated Guide to Income in the United States”. I highly recommend her book – whether it’s for the insightful content, or for the 130+ beautiful examples of clean design.
Not much new here – but it is well explained. Personally, instead of focusing on a subjective comparison of what people thought would be “fair”, I would have liked to see more visuals illustrating how this has changed over the past few decades.
One of my favorite economic dashboards. It highlights major macro indicators, what direction they are trending, what the typical ranges are, and lets you drill down to explanations of why you should care. Looks like a lot of indicators are finally in the “typical” range.
Things might be getting back to normal.
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