Friday, January 3, 2020

Wage Inequality in Oregon: A Wide Gap

Over the past 28 years, the distribution of wage income in Oregon has continued to become more unequal. In 2018, employees who worked all four quarters of the year earned a total of nearly $89.3 billion in covered wages, an inflation-adjusted increase of more than $47 billion since 1990. The number of four-quarter workers rose by 63 percent during that time period, with the average four-quarter inflation-adjusted wage rising from $43,000 to $56,100. The gains in wage income, however, have not been evenly shared by all workers. High-wage workers' slice of the wage pie has increased in size, while that of low- and middle-wage workers has shrunk.

In 1990, the median wage of the top 1 percent of all four-quarter workers was 7 times that of the median for all four-quarter workers at an inflation-adjusted $250,800. By 2018, wages for the top 1 percent workers increased by 52 percent to $380,500. Meanwhile, the median wage for all workers increased just 14 percent over the same period. In 2018, the median wage of the top 1 percent of workers was 9 times the median for all workers ($40,979).

To learn more, read Special Projects Analyst Barbara Peniston's full article here.

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