Blue-Collar Wages Over the Years

Since I mentioned blue-collar earnings this morning, I thought you might be interested in a longer-term look at what’s technically called the “production and nonsupervisory hourly earnings” series:

The light green at the end shows how much wages will increase in 2019 if they keep up the pace of the first four months. Just think: after a mere 40 years, blue-collar hourly wages have finally made up their losses from the short (but sharp) Iranian oil-embargo slump followed by their grim decade-long slide during the Reagan-Bush era. Thanks to increases during the Clinton and Obama presidencies—interrupted only by the stagnation of the Bush 43 presidency—blue-collar workers are finally making as much as they did in the mid-70s.

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Headshot of Editor in Chief of Mother Jones, Clara Jeffery

It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

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It's unlike anything we've done, and we have seed funding to get started, but we're looking to raise $500,000 from readers by July when we'll be making key budgeting decisions—and the more resources we have by then, the deeper we can dig. If our plan sounds good to you, please help kickstart it with a tax-deductible donation today.

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Signed by Clara Jeffery

Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

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