Thursday , January 18 2018
Home / Real-World Economics Review / Whose recovery?

Whose recovery?

Summary:
From David Ruccio If you read the business press in the United States (e.g., the Wall Street Journal), you’ll find something along the lines of the following argument: the fact that U.S. worker productivity rebounded in the third quarter while hourly wages rose moderately is a sign “the economy is strengthening.” But look at the numbers. Nonfarm business sector productivity (the blue line in the chart above) rose 1.5 percent (from the same quarter a year ago) while real hourly compensation (the green line) fell 1.1 percent.* The result is that unit labor costs (the red line) fell 0.7 percent.  According to Stephen Stanley of Amherst Pierpont Securities, lighter regulation under the Trump administration and the prospect of a .4 trillion tax-cut package being passed by Congress are

Topics:
David F. Ruccio considers the following as important:

This could be interesting, too:

David F. Ruccio writes What’s the matter with America?

Dan Crawford writes Open thread Jan. 16, 2017

Spencer England writes France called ……………….they want their statue back

Lars Syll writes Simon Wren-Lewis — anti-pluralist mainstream flimflam defender

from David Ruccio

Whose recovery?

If you read the business press in the United States (e.g., the Wall Street Journal), you’ll find something along the lines of the following argument: the fact that U.S. worker productivity rebounded in the third quarter while hourly wages rose moderately is a sign “the economy is strengthening.”

But look at the numbers. Nonfarm business sector productivity (the blue line in the chart above) rose 1.5 percent (from the same quarter a year ago) while real hourly compensation (the green line) fell 1.1 percent.* The result is that unit labor costs (the red line) fell 0.7 percent. 

According to Stephen Stanley of Amherst Pierpont Securities,

lighter regulation under the Trump administration and the prospect of a $1.4 trillion tax-cut package being passed by Congress are likely factors that have led companies to boost investment and become more productive.

Corporations may have chosen to boost investment and become more productive—but they have also chosen not to compensate their workers.

The only possible conclusion is that the Trump recovery is a recovery for employers but not for their employees.

Let’s see if Trump or someone in his administration will tweet that!

*Hours worked rose 1.5 percent and hourly compensation only 0.8 percent in the third quarter. As a result, real hourly compensation was -1.1 percent.

David F. Ruccio
I am now Professor of Economics “at large” as well as a member of the Higgins Labor Studies Program and Faculty Fellow of the Joan B. Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies. I was the editor of the journal Rethinking Marxism from 1997 to 2009. My Notre Dame page contains more information. Here is the link to my Twitter page.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *