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1907 Salaries And Today

Posted By Jim On 03/01/2007 @ 2:08 pm In Career | 5 Comments

A friend of mine recently sent out an email forward that, amongst other things, stated the following to be true in 1907:

The average wage in the U.S. was 22 Cents per hour.



The average U.S. worker made between $200 and $400 per year.



A competent accountant could expect to earn $2000 per year,

a dentist made $2,500 per year,

a veterinarian between $1,500 per year,

and a mechanical engineer about $5,000 per year.

Another friend then made the quip that they (mechanical engineers) still only make $5,000 a year, not taking into account the impact of inflation on purchasing power in the last hundred years.

If readjusted to 2007 dollars instead of 1907 dollars, I turned to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics’ CPI calculator [3] (which only went back as far as 1913 because that’s when CPI was first started, so these numbers are not 100% accurate and should be higher than what I’ve written) and this is what it would read instead:

The average wage in the U.S. was $4.50 per hour.



The average U.S. worker made between $4,089.21 and $8,178.42 per year.



A competent accountant could expect to earn $40,892.12 per year,

a dentist made $51,115.15 per year,

a veterinarian between $30,669.09 per year,

and a mechanical engineer about $102,230.30 per year.

So in essence, my friend was unknowingly correct.


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[3] Bureau of Labor and Statistics’ CPI calculator: http://data.bls.gov/cgi-bin/cpicalc.pl

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