10 Charts of 2012: The Gap Between Productivity and Wages

Source: Economic Policy Institute

Source: Economic Policy Institute

This chart, from the Economic Policy Institute’s State of Working America, shows that for the last 40 years workers have not been sharing in the productivity gains they have provided for their employers — this stands in sharp contrast to the first 25 years after WWII when income and productivity tracked together.  And below, in a bonus chart, we see that the trend since 1995 continues for all education groups.

Source: Economic Policy Institute

Source: Economic Policy Institute

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3 Responses to “10 Charts of 2012: The Gap Between Productivity and Wages”

  1. Automation rules…

    • There were plenty of technological gains that were made between 1945 and 1975, yet productivity and wages tracked together. Something else has gotten broken over the last 40 years.

  2. Microprocessing. Smart automation. In a factory I worked, we went from 25 workers on our production line to less than 12 for most products. And my crew delivered higher output and werre very proud to do so, and be the number one team in the plant for efficiency.

    Also with the advent of desktop computers, we suddenly had the ability to track productivity. It was quick and easy to set benchmarks and measure against them each week and try to make ourselves a more effecient operation. The workers loved it. AT least my crew did. Because we kept our edge through educational cross training. When you have a crew of 25, it’s hard to be the shining star for promotion. When it’s half that, people see the doors of opportunity open. Nearly every employee I had had moved on to become leads and supervisors for other lines. It’s a beautiful thing. Work hard, advance, become something. Production is all about becoming more efficient. It’s what keeps the costs of goods lower for all and is the engine of the American productivity model.

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