Sunday, May 27, 2007

Family Income Decelerates

From CNN Money, and Article called "Making less Than Dad Did":

American men in their 30s are earning less than their father's generation did, challenging a long-held belief that each generation will be better off than the one that preceded it, according to a new study published Friday.[5/25/07]

So, how many of you, out there, are better off than your parents at a similar stage in life?

Relying on Census Bureau figures, the study's authors found that after adjusting for inflation, men in their 30s in 2004 had a median income of about $35,000 per year, for a 12 percent drop compared with $40,000 per year for men in the same age group in 1974.

I definitely fall into that category, as I'm making 50% less than my father did at the same age. Although I don't doubt that the economy has much to do about it, my career choices also bear much of the blame. My dad was, then, an IT manager for a decent-sized corporation, I'm a technician in public broadcasting. It's a world of difference, pay-wise.

I wonder if the shifting male college graduation rate has anything to bear on this issue? The Pell Institute did a study, finding a growing gender gap in higher education (PPT file here). This definitely amplifies the overall impact of the economic changes, if you look at the effects on various education levels:

Alright, men, got get those Bachelors and Masters degrees!

I think that the difference is also more acute now, due to fuel prices (in turn making everything else expensive), healthcare/insurance costs, and the shifting onus of retirement saving/planning.

What do you think?


Dad29 said...

1) The entry of women into the workforce; supply/demand

2) The cost of tax-and-regs in the US has continued to rise for businesses and to a lesser extent, for individuals; thus, money for wage/salaries has been depressed

3) The decline of manufacturing employment since 1950, going from 40% of the workforce to 13% (rougly, on both ends) during that timeframe--which decline has been accompanied by a concomitant decline in service-industries for the manufacturing sector

4) Increases in benefit costs, as well as regulatory-costs of employment

5) Increases in the cost of "wants" which have transmogrified into "needs"--e.g., the cellphone, cable, home a/c, etc.

Paul, just this guy, you know? said...

I make more than my father ever did, but I have more debt, too. I'm not sure that I'm better off than he was at my age.