Sunday, December 21, 2003

More on how the pie is divided up. Short version: Your piece got smaller.

This economic recovery is distinctly unkind to workers.

...while profits have shot up as a percentage of national income, reaching their highest level since the mid-1960's, labor's share is shrinking. Not since World War II has the distribution been so lopsided in the aftermath of a recession.

... [Workers'] average hourly wage, $15.46, is up only 3 cents since July, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. That wage is rising at an annual rate of less than 2 percent, barely enough to keep up with inflation, mild as it now is.

"We have never seen in the 40 years that we have this hourly wage survey, wage growth that has been this slow,'' said Dean Baker, an economist at the Center for Economic and Policy Research. ...

... pretax profits skyrocketed in the third quarter, to nearly 30 percent of national income, at an annual rate, from 27 percent in the first quarter of 2001....

---Louis Uchitelle in today's New York Times

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