Browse By

How are Workers Faring in the USA? Three Charts for May Day 2016

Today is May Day.  To note the arrival of the annual workers’ day, let’s look at three charts that together tell us how workers are faring in the United States.  Each of the measures you see below is indexed, with the 2009 value set to 100, and measured from 1947 till now.

From 1947 to now, the amount of value generated by each unit of labor that workers do has quadrupled:

U.S. Labor Productivity, 1947 to Now

But the real compensation workers receive has only gone up by a factor of three:

Real Hourly Compensation of Labor, 1947 to Now

The share of income generated through labor that goes to workers?  It’s gone down.

Labor Share of Income in the United States, 1947 to now

In sum, while the value of work to business has grown, wages haven’t kept pace.  Over time, businesses have been pocketing more and more of the difference, paying American workers less for their value.

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.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

Psst... what kind of person doesn't support pacifism?

Fight the Republican beast!