Even As N.H.'s Economy Improves, Wage Stagnation Persists

Mar 3, 2015

The economic recovery seems to have picked up steam in recent months, with the unemployment rate approaching pre-recession levels and the stock market reaching all-time highs. But for many, the economic indicator that matters the most, wage growth, has remained stubbornly flat. Today, a conversation about the causes, history, and potential fixes for an economic problem that is quickly becoming a national political issue.

Credit Scott J. Waldron / Flickr/CC

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Center for Global Business and Government: Slaughter & Rees Report: Why Wages Aren't Rising -- "So with tightening labor markets, why aren’t wages rising? The short answer is, because labor productivity is rising so slowly. To gauge the average standard of living of a country’s citizens, the single most important indicator of well-being is labor productivity: the average value of output of goods and services a country produces (typically measured as gross domestic product, GDP) per worker. The more and better quality goods and services people produce—that is, the more productive they are—the more income they tend to receive and the higher standard of living they can achieve.

Washington Post Opinion: Why wages lag -- "Economists are baffled. “This labor market recovery looks different from anything since World War II,” says University of Chicago economist Steven Davis. Depending on the indicator, the job market appears either tight or loose. Low unemployment rates suggest tight, Davis says. So does the average time it takes firms to fill a vacancy; at nearly 25 days, it is just above levels before the Great Recession. But weak wage growth and the high share of jobless out of work for more than six months — a third of all unemployment — indicate a loose market."

Data from the Economic Policy Institute