Under the heading, “bad charts,” Mark Duckenfield links to this display by Quoctrung Bui and writes:
So much to go with here, but I [Duckenfield] would just highlight the bars as the most egregious problem as it is implied that the same number of people are in each category. Obviously that is not the case — the top 1% and the 90-99% group, even if the coverage were comprehensive which it isn’t, would have fewer people in them than the decile groups.
But even more to the point, there is no reason to think that the top 10 jobs in each category all yield the same total number of jobs since there much be dozens, if not more broad categories of employment, most of which are off. They’d have been better to have a big “other jobs” block at the end so the bars balanced out. But I suspect the coverage of the top 10 jobs in each category is under 50%,so you’d see a lot of “other”
And this leads to the implication about total number of people making certain incomes might be the same. But all that is the same is their percentage of the employment among the top 10 jobs in the income range.
And I’m not entirely sure that the median salary, which looks to conveniently be $40K is correct. Household income is more like $50K and the median wage earner had a *median* net compensation according to Social Security of around $27500 (although I expect that has deductions and other withholdings from SS wages like health insurance). And the *average* net compensation was about $42500.
My reply: I agree that these graphs have problems but I kinda like them because they do contain a lot of information, if you don’t over-interpret them.