Wage Income: A Key Middle Class Marker

Excuse us while we channel Thomas Piketty for a second: the truly affluent, the highest earners... they receive the highest proportion of total income outside their wages: generally from business and investment income. And, turning off the Piketty channel: at the lower ends of the total income spectrum, there is also an increase in non-wage … [Read more...]

5.9% Unemployment – But Where’s Your Raise?

After taking a couple months off in the 'promising figures' category, the unemployment rate seems to have broken back in the direction we all want to see it going: down.  5.9% is the headline figure, and that 5.9% number came with a very promising increase in the nonfarm payroll employment number... 248,000. But... What About the Raises? That's … [Read more...]

The Sudden Collapse of Inflation Expectations

One situation we've been monitoring closely (even before the recent market activity) and has only just started to become a bit dramatic: the rapidly declining inflation expectations among market participants.  One way to follow this measure is to follow the 'breakevens'; by subtracting real yields on inflation protected securities from treasuries, … [Read more...]

Work Harder, Earn More: 2013 Incomes by Hours Worked

"I am a great believer in luck, and I find the harder I work, the more I have of it." - Thomas Jefferson Back in 2011, we wrote a controversial article with a not-that-startling conclusion: breaking respondents to the 2010 CPS down by income brackets, we found that higher earners averaged many more hours of weekly work. Since we've recently … [Read more...]

A Collection of Peers: Younger Age Groups With Degrees and Full Time Jobs

In our last deep dive into 2013 Current Population Survey data, we examined the total incomes of a demographic group which closely approximated the readers of this site: folks with at least a Bachelor's degree and working a full time job (defined as 40+ hours reported). Well, to some degree that's a bit lazy... the majority of readers of this … [Read more...]

A Collection of Peers: How Work and School Choice Affects Total Income

If you read mainstream financial media, you've recently seen more and more sophisticated reporting on median income trends in the United States.  Instead of tossing a single median income number at you out of context, mainstream sources are getting better and better at providing context... specifically, articles are often presented with quantile … [Read more...]

What is the Savings Rate in Other Countries?

Savings articles tend to be among the most popular articles here on DQYDJ (as in our most popular savings article - our Savings Rate Calculator for determining when you can retire), but we often concentrate on our own savings rate... or at most the savings rate of America.  When we saw a link to an OECD tabulation of savings rates across a fine … [Read more...]

Where Do Residents of the States Come From? A Demographic Study of 2012 Census Data

This article contains a calculator which allows you to input an age range and select a state and delivers demographic results broken down by country and state of origin. It uses Census Bureau data compiled by the University of Minnesota's IPUMS-USA project (2012 American Community Survey) and reports where the members of your selected age range … [Read more...]

The Maximum Wage is a Horrible, Disgusting Idea

It must have been something in the water: I read multiple times in the last few weeks that the ultimate path to salvation in American economic life lies down the road to the maximum wage.  Yes, that's right - multiple articles in seemingly serious publications argued that the United States should make strides towards arbitrarily capping the amount … [Read more...]

6.2% and 4.0%: Recovery, On

Well, it's not a rocketing, blatantly obvious recovery you can feel - but the current economic performance is certainly worthy of (finally) being classed a recovery. Inflation, Unemployment, GDP... and Wage Growth? We've been rambling on about inflation data for the last few months because we've seen the signs of inflation start to pick up in … [Read more...]