The case for a higher minimum wage

The one thing that could change the low-pay, low-inflation dynamic, AFL-CIO's chief economist Bill Spriggs argues, is government intervention.

What he's saying: "Firms have decided, 'Why do I need to give you more than a 1 or 2% raise? The prices are running 1–2% higher, what's your problem?' The other problem we have is low inflationary expectations make it very hard to re-inflate the economy — you just can’t get out of the rut."

All calm on the wage front

illustration of hand pointing to dollar signs
Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Wages are rising, employees are unionizing on social media and going on strike, and businesses are starting to worry about labor costs. But there's little reason for shareholders to fret and little reason for employees to be excited because the big picture hasn't changed.

What's happening: U.S. inflation figures due this week will likely show that wages continue to stagnate and inflation is holding in the 1.5%–2.5% range it has been in for most of the past 10 years.

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