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SSA: Real Median Wages up 14% Since 1990, Flat Since 2001

The latest update from the Social Security Administration on median wages showed a modest uptick in median wages.  The median wage in the United States rose to $27,519 in 2012, up from $26,965 in 2011.  That’s a 2.05% increase in the median wage, which is roughly in-line with headline inflation over the same period.

Since 1990 the median wage has risen about 8% in real terms, but has been flat over the last 12 years.  The bulk of the inflation adjusted median wage gains came in the late 90’s during the tech boom.  Since then the bursting of the Nasdaq Bubble and the housing bubble have done serious damage to the median wage leaving the median income earner with a financial living standard that hasn’t changed much in the last decade.



* Corrected for inflation adjustment starting date.  

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