November 01, 2005
Growth in earnings for white women has outpaced that for their black and Hispanic or Latino counterparts over the past 25 years.
Between 1979 and 2004, inflation-adjusted weekly earnings for white women grew fairly steadily, from $444 to $584 (32 percent). Earnings over the period grew from $408 to $505 (24 percent) for black women and from $379 to $419 (11 percent) for Hispanic or Latino women.
In contrast, real earnings for white and for black men rose only slightly, while those for Hispanic or Latino men fell by 9 percent.
These data on earnings are produced by the Current Population Survey. Earnings data in this article are median usual weekly earnings of full-time wage and salary workers. The Consumer Price Index research series using current methods (CPI-U-RS) was used for the inflation adjustment; the inflation-adjusted earnings are in 2004 dollars. For more information see "Highlights of Women’s Earnings in 2004," BLS Report 987 (PDF 196K).
Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Economics Daily, Growth in inflation-adjusted earnings, 1979-2004 on the Internet at http://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/2005/oct/wk5/art02.htm (visited November 27, 2015).
Fifty years of looking at changes in peoples lives
Longitudinal surveys help us understand long-term changes, such as how events that happened when a person was in high school affect labor market success as an adult.