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State of Working Massachusetts 2006: As the Economy Moves Forward, Wages Fall Back

Though it is now nearly five years since the end of the 2001 recession, Massachusetts continues to struggle economically. Despite gains since the end of 2003, employment in Massachusetts is still lower today than at either the beginning or the end of that recession; indeed, the Commonwealth is one of only six states for which this is the case. Perhaps even worse, wages in Massachusetts, after adjusting for inflation, have dropped across the labor force over the last few years. In particular, the median hourly wage that is, the wage earned by the typical Massachusetts worker fell close to 5 percent between 2003 and 2005, the largest decline in the country during that period and the largest two-year decline in Massachusetts in at least twenty-five years. This report the third edition of the Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center's State of Working Massachusetts examines these and other trends in employment, in labor force demographics, and in wages, incomes, and poverty.

September 3, 2006 | PDF