Tuesday, September 04, 2007

GDP Growth Not Reaching Employee Paychecks

This CNN article (http://money.cnn.com/2007/09/03/news/economy/epi_report/index.htm?cnn=yes) brings focus on why I discount all of the Chimperator's talk of economic growth being benificial to rank and file Americans. The Chimperator's fat cat friends may be doing better financially, but most Americans are not. Add to that the ever increasing cost of health care and now declining property values and most Americans are likely to have less disposable income. Here are some highlights:

NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- The economic expansion that began six years ago has failed to benefit most workers, according to a report from the nonpartisan Economic Policy Institute, released Monday. Productivity growth, although slower of late, has been strong since 2000. After a sluggish start in the period, employment has picked up, although at a slower pace than in past recoveries. Yet, that growth hasn't transferred to workers' paychecks, particularly for workers at the lower and middle end of the pay scale, the report found.

After rising quickly in the second half of the 1990s, most workers real wages have been stagnant in the 2000s, especially since 2003. While productivity jumped almost 20 percent since 2000, the real median hourly wage of all workers rose just 3 percent in the same period. Since 2003, productivity has risen 5 percent, while the median hourly wage fell 1.1 percent.

Both high school and college workers saw hourly wage gains of about 2.5 percent since 2000. Yet, in the period between 2003 and 2007, wage gains for median workers, male and female, as well as high school and college workers have all been flat or falling. Not so for workers at the highest end of the wage scale. At the 95th percentile, real wages have risen 9.4 percent since 2000 and 5.1 percent since 2003.

The average CEO of a large U.S. company made roughly $10.8 million last year, or 364 times that of U.S. full-time and part-time workers, who made an average of $29,544, according to a joint analysis released Wednesday by the liberal Institute for Policy Studies and United for a Fair Economy.

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