I’ve been playing around recently with the new income distribution data that the ABS has released. I’ve created the graphs above, whichÂ showÂ the change in realÂ hourly wages and real income across the distribution, over the first eight years of the Howard Government (1995-96 to 2003-04).
- Hourly wages rose by 6% at the 10th percentile, 13% at the median, and 16% at the 90th percentile.
- Disposable family income rose by 7% at the 10th percentile, 16% at the median, and 17% at the 90th percentile.Â
In both cases, the bottom few percentiles appear to have fallen quite substantially (down 20%). But given questions about the accuracy of the ABS’s sampling for the very poor, I haven’t shown those big drops.
I’m not quite sure whatÂ to do with this, but perhaps some readers have ideas.
Update: John Quiggin speculates about possible causes.