Median Income Falling for Ohioans

Dayton Daily News - September 3, 2011

Dayton Daily News

Ohio workers’ median hourly wages fell by nearly a dollar an hour over the past 
decade, the sharpest decline among the 10 states that saw median hourly wages shrink from 
2000 to 2010, according to a report released this Labor Day weekend.

At the same time, U.S. nonfarm business productivity grew at an annual rate of 2.5 percent.
“We are wealthy enough to have good jobs at decent wages for every Ohio worker,” said Amy
Hanauer, executive director of the liberal-leaning Policy Matters and author of the report
titled The State of Working Ohio. “But that isn’t happening. The economy is growing, but
the average worker isn’t getting much of that growth.’’

Ohio workers’ median wages fell from $16.02 to $15.16 an hour, according to the report. The
Ohio figure, based on 2010 inflation-adjusted dollars, was also well below the $16-an-hour
national median – or the point at which half of all wages are higher and half are lower.

Hanauer attributed much of the decline to the soft demand for labor.

“Jobs are elusive and long-term joblessness is the highest on record,” she said. “When there
aren’t a lot of jobs, workers have less ability to bargain for higher wages or leave for jobs that
pay higher wages.”

Blacks, young adults and workers with less education have been hardest hit by declining
wages. And men have suffered more than women.

Black Ohioans earned median hourly wages of $12.11 an hour in 2010 – more than $2.50 an
hour less than what they earned 30 years ago when adjusted for inflation, the report said.
Meanwhile, men’s median wages declined by $2.30 an hour during the same period, while
women’s wages grew by $2 an hour.


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