African-American Michiganders’ purchasing power falls 23 percent below Caucasian workers since 1982

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Hourly Median Wages of White and African American

Workers — Nominal Dollars


Source: Economic Policy Institute analysis of Current Population Survey data 






African-American median wage earners in Michigan purchasing power is less than 30 years ago, according to the Michigan League for Public Policy’s annual Labor Day report
After adjusting for inflation, The State’s median wage for all workers decreased since 1992 after adjusting for inflation, while wages for earners in the top 10 percent grew. Specifically, Michigan median wage in 2012 was $15.89, up from $7.44 in 1982.

Yet in 2012 employees purchasing power is 7 percent less than their 1982 counterparts, according to the report. Only the state of Alaska experienced a worst decline in inflation-adjusted median wage.
Earners in the top 10 percent of annual income in Michigan earning $38.25 per hour last year have 22 percent more purchasing power than lower hourly wage earning counterparts.

When broken down out by race: white median earners saw their inflation-adjusted wages drop just 1 percent while African-American median workers saw a 24 percent decline. The gap widened during the 1990s when white workers’ wages grew and black workers’ wages were stagnant.

“A paper from the Rutgers University School of Management and Labor Relations finds a link between occupational and residential segregation, saying, “residential patterns that segregate black and white youth increase the likelihood that these whites will find better-paying jobs in overwhelmingly white occupations and that blacks will end up in lower-paying occupations filled mostly by other blacks,” the MLPP noted.

Read more information on the median wage decline among Michigan’s African-American populace from 1982-2012 on MLive.

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