Economic mobility

The good news and bad news about wage growth

Workers protesting the low minimum wage
Fast-food workers, cashiers, cooks, delivery people and their supporters held a rally outside New York City Hall in 2017. Photo: Erik McGregor/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images

Having largely been left out of the U.S. recovery over the past decade, low-wage workers are starting to see their incomes rise meaningfully and are pushing for more.

Why it matters: With a tight labor market wherein the number of job openings exceeded the number of unemployed by the largest margin on record, businesses are having to make more concessions to keep low-wage workers and find new ones.

A look at global generational growth

Data: Maddison Project Database via Our World In Data; Note: GDP per capita expressed in international U.S. dollars, adjusted for inflation and price differences between countries; Chart: Harry Stevens/Axios

The average person on Earth is now 4.4 times richer than their ancestors were in 1950, according to an analysis by Max Roser, founder and editor of Our World in Data.

Why it matters: That's equivalent to the prosperity of a U.S. citizen in 1950 — when the U.S. was the world's richest country. In response, the world has seen a jump-start in education, an increase in life expectancy and lower child mortality rates.