As the stock market regained its value in the recovery, one would expect the top 1.0 percent to fare better than other workers—and they have, with annual wages growing 8.2 percent from 2009 to 2011 (the S&P grew 37.4 percent over this period). As the recovery continues and the stock market sustains its growth, the top 1.0 percent of wage earners are likely to quickly recoup all of the ground lost in the downturn.
In contrast, annual wages of the bottom 90 percent of earners eroded by 0.6 percent in the downturn—and by a further 1.2 percent in the 2009–2011 recovery. This is not surprising given the persistently high unemployment over this period. Meanwhile, high-wage earners from the 90th to the 99th percentile enjoyed wage growth in the recovery—and are the only wage earners to have higher wages in 2011 than in 2007.