Deeb Kitchen sent in an essay at The Brookings Institution with a graph comparing the number of hours worked and earnings in middle-class, two-parent households (the 10% of households that are in the very middle of the income distribution). Controlling for inflation (results are in 2009 dollars), we see that these households are earning more, for sure, but also working more. In other words, they’re getting about as much buck for their bang as they were in 1975.
The authors of the post argue that the 26% increase in the number of hours worked is due mostly to mothers increasing their work hours. Wages, as you can see below, have been stagnant for fathers, but gone up for mothers:Lisa Wade, PhD is an Associate Professor at Tulane University. She is the author of American Hookup, a book about college sexual culture; a textbook about gender; and a forthcoming introductory text: Terrible Magnificent Sociology. You can follow her on Twitter and Instagram.