Number of the Week: Workers Not Benefiting From Productivity Gains - Real Time Economics - WSJ: "Hourly wages, adjusted for inflation, rose only 0.3%, according to the Labor Department. In other words, companies shared only 6% of productivity gains with their workers. That compares to 58% since records began in 1947.
To some extent, it stands to reason that workers would do poorly in the early stages of a recovery. Unemployment is high, so they have little bargaining power. But that’s not what has happened during most of the recoveries of the last 60 years. Workers typically received at least half of productivity gains in the form of higher wages. Only in the recovery from the deep recession of the early 1980s, when inflation-adjusted hourly wages fell 0.4%, did workers do worse than they have in this recovery. Back then, though, inflation was much higher: In nominal terms, wages rose 5.7%, compared to 3.1% now."