Today’s NYT has an article on Inflation, Wages, Income and Corporate Profits.
Graphic via St. Louis Fed
Here is a quick excerpt:
In the first quarter of 2006, wages and salaries represented 45 percent of gross
domestic product, down from almost 50 percent in the first quarter of 2001 and a
record 53.6 percent in the first quarter of 1970, according to the Commerce
Department. Each percentage point now equals about $132 billion.
Total employee compensation — wages plus benefits — has fared a little
better. Its share was briefly lower than its current level of 56.1 percent in
the mid-1990’s and otherwise has not been so low since 1966.
Over the last year, the value of employee benefits has risen only 3.4
percent, while inflation has exceeded 4 percent, according to the Labor
In 2004, the top 1 percent of earners — a group that includes many chief
executives — received 11.2 percent of all wage income, up from 8.7 percent a
decade earlier and less than 6 percent three decades ago, according to Emmanuel
Saez and Thomas Piketty, economists who analyzed the tax data."
Here’s some of our prior discussions during the last few years:
Real Wages Fail to Match a Rise in Productivity
STEVEN GREENHOUSE and DAVID LEONHARDT
NYT, August 28, 2006
The Seasonal Cycle and the Business Cycle
St Louis Fed