Productivity is up, but wage growth has been flat for decades. Jesse Russell reports:
A new report from the Economic Policy Institute finds that wages in the United States have remained flat for a full decade. The report, titled A Decade of Flat Wages: The key barrier to Shared Prosperity and a Rising Middle Class, found the lack of wage growth was consistent across occupations, ethnicity, and education levels. The report also details while productivity grew by 7.7 percent between 2007 and 2013 wages fell for the bottom 70 percent of wage earners. Going back even farther the report says that since 1979 wage growth has been weak with the average worker only seeing an increase of 5 percent. The report cites a number of reasons for the weak wage growth of the last 3 decades including globalization, deregulation and weaker unions. It suggests fiscal expansion as a way to turn wage growth around by investing in infrastructure and the creation of jobs and suggesting that continued deficit reduction will only slow the job growth needed to jump start wages. Finally, the report calls for increasing the minimum wage and reestablishing the right to collectively bargain in the workplace.