State of Working America

ISBN-10: 0801478553

ISBN-13: 9780801478550

Edition: 12th 2012 (Revised)

Authors: Lawrence Mishel, Josh Bivens, Elise Gould, Heidi Shierholz

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Prepared biennally since 1988, 'The State of Working America' includes a wide variety of data on family incomes, wages, taxes, unemployment, wealth and poverty - data that enable the authors to closely examine the effect of the economy on the living standards of the American people.
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Book details

List price: $20.95
Edition: 12th
Copyright year: 2012
Publisher: Cornell University Press
Publication date: 11/15/2012
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 520
Size: 6.00" wide x 9.00" long x 1.50" tall
Weight: 1.804
Language: English

Lawrence Mishel is the president of the Economic Policy Institute and its research director from 1987 to 1999. He is the coauthor of every edition of The State of Working America .

Josh Bivens has been an economist at the Economic Policy Institute since 2002. He is the author of Failure by Design: The Story behind America's Broken Economy and coauthor of The State of Working America , 12th Edition, both from Cornell.

Documentation and methodology
Overview: Policy-driven inequality blocks living-standards growth for low- and middle-income Americans
America's vast middle class has suffered a 'lost decade' and faces the threat of another
Income and wage inequality have risen sharply over the last three-and-a-half decades
Rising inequality is the major cause of wage stagnation for workers and of the failure of low-and middle-income families to appropriately benefit from growth
Economic policies caused increased inequality of wages and incomes
Claims that growing inequality has not hurt middle-income families are flawed
Growing income inequality has not been offset by increased mobility
Inequalities persist by race and gender
Economic history and policy as seen from below the top rungs of the wage and income ladder
The Great Recession: Causes and consequences
A very condensed macroeconomic history of the Great Recession and its aftermath
Economic 'lost decades': Weak growth for most American's wages and incomes before and likely after the Great Recession
Weak labor demand at the heart of the lost decade
Weak labor demand devastates key living standards
Dim growth prospects forecast another lost decade
Two key lessons from the lost decade
Extraordinarily unequal growth before the lost decade: Rising inequality blocks income and wage growth from 1979 to 2007
Income inequality and stagnating living standards
Wage inequality and the break between wages and productivity
Strong income and wage growth in the atypical last half of the 1990s
Economic mobility has neither caused nor cured the damage done by rising inequality
Today's private economy: Not performing for middle-income Americans
Middle-income growth lags average income growth and historical income growth rates
Social insurance programs, not private sources, account for the majority of middle-fifth income growth
Growing shares of income are dedicated to holding families harmless against rising medical costs
Households have to work more to achieve income gains
Assessing what the private economy is really delivering to middle-income Americans
Today's economy: Different outcomes by race and gender
Many more than just two Americas
Male and female America
No one 'American economy'
Conclusion: The struggling state of working America is policy-driven
The policy good for everybody in the fractured U.S. economy: Ensuring rapid recovery to full employment
Table and figure notes
Income: Already a 'lost decade'
The basic contours of American incomes
Family and household money income
Median family income as a metric of economic performance
A look at income by income fifths
Median family income by race, ethnicity, and nativity
The Great Recession and American incomes
Impact by income group
Impact by race and ethnicity
Income losses projected for years to come
Rising inequality of American incomes
Family income inequality
Unequal growth of comprehensive household incomes suggests diverging well-being
Sharp rise in income inequality apparent in every major data source
The limited impact of taxes and transfers relative to market income
Factors behind the large rise in inequality of market incomes
How much did middle-income living standards actually rise between 1979 and 2007?
Measuring living standards at the middle
Sources of income for the middle fifth
Income growth for the middle fifth has been driven largely by elderly households' pension and transfer income
Adjusting income for the truer contribution of health care transfers
Disproportionate growth of transfers directed toward elderly households
The role of hours worked and educational upgrading in wage growth
Little of the growth of middle incomes can be attributed to a well-functioning economy
Table and figure notes
Mobility: not offsetting growing inequality
Intragenerational mobility
Lifetime mobility against the backdrop of generational stagnation
Family and individual mobility trends
Factors associated with intragenerational mobility
Intergenerational mobility
Cross-country comparisons
The impact of race, wealth, and education on mobility
Income inequality and mobility
Has the American Dream become more or less attainable over time?
Figure notes
Wages: The top, and very top, outpace the rest
Describing wage trends
The decade of lost wage growth
Contrasting work hours and hourly wage growth
Contrasting compensation and wage growth
Wages of production and nonsupervisory workers
Wage trends by wage level
Shifts in low-wage jobs
Trends among very high earners fuel growing wage inequality
Trends in benefit growth and inequality
Dimensions of wage inequality
Gaps between higher- and lower-wage workers
Gaps between workers with different education and experience levels
The gap between workers with comparable education and experience
Rising education/wage differentials
Young workers' wages
The growth of within-group wage inequality
Wage inequality by race/ethnicity and gender
Productivity and the compensation/productivity gap
Factors driving wage inequality
The shift to low-paying industries
Employer health care costs
Trade and wages
The decline in the real value of the minimum wage
Executive and finance-sector pay
Explaining wage inequality: Bringing the factors together
Technology and skill mismatches
What is the appeal of the technology story?
Education gaps and wage inequality
The slowdown in the growth of demand for college graduates
Within-group wage inequality
The labor market difficulties of college graduates
Jobs of the future
Table and figure notes
Jobs: A function of demand
Job creation is a macroeconomic outcome
Zero is not the baseline for job growth
What are today's jobs like?
Firm size
Job quality
Unemployment and age
Unemployment and race/ethnicity, gender, and education
Unemployment rates of foreign- and native-born workers
Unemployment insurance benefits
Labor force participation: Structural and cyclical changes
Beyond the unemployment rate: Other measures of labor market slack
Employment-to-population ratio
Long-term unemployment
Over-the-year unemployment
Job-seekers ratio
Voluntary quits
Recovering from the Great Recession
Comparing the Great Recession and its aftermath with earlier recessions and recoveries
Job loss and gender in the Great Recession
Unemployment in the aftermath of the Great Recession: Structural or cyclical?
The consequences of job loss and unemployment for workers and their families
Table and figure notes
Wealth: Unrelenting disparities
Net worth
The racial divide in net worth
Retirement insecurity
Student loan debt
Debt relative to disposable personal income
Debt service
Wealth of U.S. citizens compared with citizens' wealth in peer countries
Table and figure notes
Poverty: The Great Recession adds injury to insult
Poverty measurement
Official poverty line
Supplemental Poverty Measure
Relative poverty
The working poor
Poverty-level wages
Job quality
Work hours
Determinants of low incomes
The macro economy and poverty
The impact of economic, demographic, and education changes on poverty rates
Resources for low-income Americans
International comparisons
Poverty and the earnings distribution
Resource allocation
Table and figure notes
CPS income measurement
Wage measurement
About EPI
About the authors
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