Our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy have changed.

By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to the new Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.

3 of 7
BACKNEXT
Personal Income
Personal Income
Simply having a job is a start, but if your wages don't keep pace with inflation, you "feel" that, too.

This generation is not making as much money as its fathers were, according to the Pew Charitable Trusts' Economic Mobility Project. Pew compared the income of men in their 30s to that of men in the same age group 30 years earlier. The organization figures this is a solid measure because the percentage of men in the work force has remained relatively steady over the last generation - unlike women, whose working numbers and wages have increased.

Pew found that salaries for men in their 30s went up five percent from 1964 to 1994. But looking at the period 1974 to 2004, salaries actually went down 12 percent, from $40,210 to $35,010 (in inflation-adjusted dollars).

In fact, income was actually on a bit of a downswing at the start of the 1980s, but was still higher than at any other point in recent history. In 1980, the average income for a man in his 30s was $39,109; today, Pew estimates it is $34,676 (again, in inflation-adjusted dollars).

If it is any consolation, 2008 is not the low point in our survey; in 1993, the average man in his 30s was making $32,599 per year.

If an average income of $32,599 is set equal to zero, and $39,109 is set equal to ten, 2008 is at a relatively low point in the spectrum.

Personal Income: 3.2

NEXT: Personal Savings

Last updated October 31 2008: 9:42 AM ET
More Galleries
15 top-paid CEOs The 15 highest-paid corporate chiefs in America took home nearly $700 million last year -- about $47 million apiece on average. Expedia's Dara Khosrowshahi tops the list -- with $95 million in total pay. David Zaslav, who was no. 1 last year moves down to no. 15 this year. More
Driving Bentley's new SUV Spending an afternoon in Bentley's luxurious new $230,000 SUV. More
Best cars for the super-rich The Robb Report has selected these as the best new cars and SUVs for anyone who doesn't have to worry about how much they spend. More

Special Offer