I’ve heard this phrase repeated by seniors, and the over 40 crowd often – the more things change, the more they remain the same.
But is that true for the American worker?
Has compensation changed much over the years? Is the American worker happier, more satisfied with their income and lifestyle – overall?
Has things remained the same – despite the many changes in our industries, workforce and culture? Has industry changes kept the principal of work and reward, the same for the American worker? Meaning, does harder work and more investment in education, resulted in increased compensation for the average worker?
Today the greater percentage of our workforce is service oriented – with education, healthcare, professional and scientific management, leading our service industries.
So how has this shift affected compensation for the American worker? Is this more learned generation better compensated than their grandparents were?
The US Census Bureau reported the median annual earnings for men in the 1940’s was $1,800. In 2010 it was $33,276. So the answer to the question of has compensation changed – is not a surprise – of course we are earning more than our grandparents did in the 1940’s! But has our increased earnings caused us to be happier, more satisfied, less worried than the generation that came out of the Great Depression?
Or does increased income even have an impact on happiness at all?
Does being satisfied with our income means that we are happier?
I heard a famous actor once said that money give him choices. Which is true for lifestyle changes, with additional income, we are able to buy better – bigger – more – so perhaps choices makes us happier?
Are we more likely to compare our better, bigger, more, to previous generations? And our response results in satisfaction? Or do we, as a generation with more income and choices – compare ourselves to each other?
Do you feel more satisfied? Happier? Or does the more things change, the more they stay the same – for you?