The layoffs, wage cuts and other setbacks of the last few years have been hard on the American worker. As the recession recedes, how quickly are things improving for employees?
According to a report from CNN, workers are working harder and earning less:
The gap between hourly compensation and productivity is the highest it's been since just after World War II. This divergence is one of the major drivers of the nation's growing income inequality.
"A bigger share of what businesses in the U.S. are producing is going to the owners of the firms and the people who lent money to the firm, and a smaller share is going to workers," said Gary Burtless, senior fellow in economic studies at The Brookings Institution.
Productivity, which measures the goods and services generated per hour worked, rose by 80.4% between 1973 and 2011, compared to a 10.7% growth in median hourly compensation, according to the left-leaning Economic Policy Institute, which crunched the numbers last year.
Are things better at your workplace? Is the company you work for sharing its profits with you? Has it improved your benefits? Leave your comments below.
• Who's Fighting for Workers? "I know who's fighting for wealthy people, for the finance industry, for the oil companies. I can see who's fighting for the troops and even for the poor, though the latter are surely harder to find than the rest." (Huffington Post)
• Raise the Economy's Speed Limit. "The combination of a lower underlying growth rate, which you could think of as the economy's speed limit, and a less equitable distribution of that growth was a reason middle-income households did so badly and poverty went up in the 2000s." (New York Times)
• Budgeting for Job Creation and Economic Growth. A look at the Back to Work budget. (Huffington Post)