Jun 8, 2017 - Economy

OECD: income growth still lousy

Global economic growth may have improved, but this new income isn't filtering down to the average worker, OECD Chief Economist Catherine Mann tells the Financial Times. "We are concerned that policymakers ... will become complacent and think that 'our job is done'," she said. Here are some further points to keep in mind:

  • Wage growth has risen in the U.S., with total compensation jumping 2.4% in the year ended in March versus 1.9% a year earlier. It remains below rates prior to the 2008-09 recession.
  • The calm before the storm: Slow U.S. economic and wage growth has been paired with low productivity improvement, wich means jobs are plentiful right now despite the looming threat of automation. But a fractious political climate has hobbled Washington's ability to do much policy experimentation in preparation for a potential future of widespread technological unemployment.
  • Why it matters: To the degree that the anti-establishment political wave in the West is related to slow growth in individual income, there's no reason to believe those movements will lose momentum soon.
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