May 24, 2010

Long-Term Trend

Wage Redistribution Increases
Key materials

This chart examines the change in the composition of personal income in the United States since 1929. The most notable trend is the increase in the portion of personal income coming from government transfers. These transfers include Social Security payments, unemployment benefits, food stamps, and personal and business tax credits. During the time period examined, the proportion of total personal income constituted by these benefits has grown from 0.9% to 17.2%. Complementary decreases of wage earnings as percentages of total personal income (from 59.5% to 52.3%) are also quite evident.