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EconomicPolicyInstitute March 13, 2016

Wage inequality got worse in 2015

A new EPI report finds that while real (inflation-adjusted) wages increased across the board in 2015 due to a sharp dip in inflation, the gap between top earners and everyone else continued to grow. “Real wage growth in 2015 is welcome news, since it means workers’ standards of living increased. However, this comes with two large caveats,” said Elise Gould, the report’s author. “First, wage inequality showed no sign of slowing down last year. And, relying on falling inflation is an unwanted and unsustainable strategy for increasing living standards.”

WAGES

Women over 65 are more likely to be poor than men

This week’s Economic Snapshot shows that women age 65 and older are more likely to be poor than men—and older, minority, and unmarried women are at greatest risk. For example, at 31 percent, Hispanic senior women have the highest poverty rate of any group, compared with 28 percent for Hispanic men over age 65. As women get older, they also become more likely to be in poverty. For more on the economic vulnerability of American seniors, see EPI’s The State of American Retirement.

IN THE NEWS
Reuters
EPI’s report The State of American Retirement was covered by several top media outlets, including the Los Angeles Times, Boston Globe, Slate, Time, American Prospect, and Fiscal Times. | "How severe is the retirement crisis? These six charts spell it out." »
Reuters
The Wall Street Journal turned to EPI’s analysis of the February jobs report, noting how the 4.9 percent unemployment rate would actually be 6.3 percent if so-called missing workers were counted in the unemployment numbers. | "The Hurdles to Getting U.S. Workers Off the Sidelines" »
Reuters
“People are going to be unhappy about the economy until it starts delivering reliable wage increases,” EPI’s Josh Bivens told The Huffington Post. “In 2011 and 2012, we had jobs again, and wages were not up, but people were willing to be patient. Now, seven years into the official recovery, people are justifiably less patient.” | "There Are A Lot More Jobs. But That Isn’t Helping Democrats For One Key Reason." »
Reuters
Gawker highlighted EPI’s Economic Snapshot explaining that black unemployment is significantly higher than white unemployment, regardless of educational attainment. | "Don’t Settle For Speeches: Fix the Racial Wealth Gap" »
Reuters
As the debate over the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and free trade agreements heats up in the 2016 presidential race, numerous media outlets have cited EPI’s research on the TPP and NAFTA, including The Washington Post, Atlantic, NPR, International Business Times, and Yahoo News. | "Donald Trump’s most strategic debate comment was his first one" »
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