The past decade has largely been one of erosion for the U.S. economy: jobs lost, homes foreclosed on, gains in equality erased. And according to a new report from Policy Matters Ohio, wages too have declined in no less than 10 states, once adjusted for inflation.
"The first decade of the new millennium," Executive Director of Policy Matters Ohio Amy Hanauer, the author of the report, writes, "was a lost decade for America’s workers."
Not only has unemployment increased substantially since 2000, but wages, adjusted for inflation, have grown by just 3.3 percent as well. By comparison, between 1990 and 2000 wages increased by 5.74 percent. And in states like Ohio, Michigan and Alaska, wages have actually declined over the past ten years, according to the report.
Rising income inequality over the past three decades may be partially to blame, Hanauer writes. Indeed, according to The Atlantic, two of every three dollars of income growth went to the top 1 percent of Americans between 2002 and 2007. In Ohio, the state which saw the greatest decline in wages, only the top 10 percent of earners have seen income growth in the past decade.
But It's not only in these 10 states where wages have suffered. According to the Economic Policy Institute, inflation-adjusted wages for recent college graduates have declined by nearly a dollar per hour over the same time period.
Here are the 10 states who saw average wages decline over the past decade when adjusted for inflation, according to Policy Matters Ohio.