NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

Do White Males Face Lower Income Prospects?

April 4, 2002

White males are suffering from long-term deterioration in lifetime income growth and job security, claims the study "Divergent Paths," published by the Russell Sage Foundation.

The study compares the wage growth and job security of young white males who entered the labor market in the late 1970s and early 1980s with the experience of similar males in the mid-1960s.

  • It found that 90 percent of young white male workers can expect to have lower lifetime wage growth than the previous generation.
  • Even college graduates are experiencing difficulties -- although better off relative to the 66 percent of the work force that never attains a four-year college degree -- but 65 percent of college graduates who began working in 1980 have experienced less income growth than those who began working in the mid-1960s.
  • However, the study shows that women "experienced real wage growth during this period," when "earnings for male workers stagnated and even declined."
  • The study concludes that "upward mobility has deteriorated for young white men who entered the labor market in the 1980s."

The researchers have no satisfactory explanation for their worrisome findings. They point fingers at deregulation, corporate downsizing, decline of unionization and a stagnant minimum wage, and wander off into left-wing drivel, according to Roberts, about "the imbalance of power that is inherent in a capitalist system."

They say the change comprises "a massive downshift in earning standards" that has hollowed out the middle class and left large numbers of white males stuck in low-wage service jobs that have no future.

Source: Paul Craig Roberts, "Worsening Job Prospects for White Males," March 27, 2002,


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