Home > Political Economy, The Economy > Graph of the week: U.S. productivity and median hourly compensation growth, 1995-2007

Graph of the week: U.S. productivity and median hourly compensation growth, 1995-2007

from David Ruccio

The solution to the current problems of unemployment and inequality in the United States is not more education. It’s finding a way to close the gaps. 

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  1. s h a r o n
    January 27, 2011 at 12:40 pm

    It would be interesting to hear some suggestions for how the “gap” could be closed between wages and productivity. (The gap between the two education levels is surprisingly small. Given that small difference,does it not make one wonder about the “value” of a college degree–especially when one considers how long a degreed wage-earner might take to pay of said degree?)

    • David Burgess
      January 27, 2011 at 10:22 pm

      Sharon, the graph doesn’t mean that college graduates don’t make a lot more than high school graduates in absolute terms – just that the growth since 1995 has been similar.

      For example, college grads might have made, say $60,000 p.a. while high school grads made $20,000 p.a. – but they were both indexed to 100 in 1995 in the graph.

  2. Jorge Buzaglo
    January 27, 2011 at 3:18 pm

    The easiest solution in theory is of course full employment (instead of “competitiveness,” that is, even lower wages). In practice, the problem is that the political system has been captured by the “military-financial complex.”

  3. A.J. Sutter
    January 27, 2011 at 4:51 pm

    Isn’t the gap between wages and productivity accounted for in large part by the distribution of productivity gains to shareholders, instead to workers?

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