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For Every Education Level, Real Wages Have Gone Down So Far This Year

Real hourly wages declined for almost every segment of the U.S. workforce in the first half of 2014, according to a briefing paper released Wednesday morning by the Economic Policy Institute, a liberal think tank.

“The last year has been a poor one for American workers’ wages,” economist Elise Gould, who directs EPI’s health policy research, writes in the report. Analyzing data from the government’s Current Population Survey, Gould found that workers at the 20th, 30th, 40th, 50th, 60th, 70th, 80th, 90th, and 95th percentiles all experienced declines (ranging from 0.5 percent to 2.0 percent) in their real wages in the first half of 2014 compared with the same period last year. Real wages declined among workers with no high school degree (0.6 percent), with just a high school degree (1.1 percent), with some college (1.0 percent), with a college degree (1.6 percent), and with an advanced degree, too (2.7 percent).