In the United States, wages increased fivefold between 1860 and 1960. Adjusted for inflation and expressed in 1982 dollars, the typical weekly wage of a U.S. worker increased from $262 in 1960 to $298 in 1970, but increased foreign competition and slower U.S. economic growth forced weekly wages down to $274 in 1980 and $255 in 1991. In the 1990s, U.S. wages grew very slowly, to $270 in 1998, despite record economic growth. In the United States and elsewhere, a "gender gap" often exists, in which women are paid less than men for comparable positions.
See also minimum wage.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.