Full employment caucus presentation

Full Employment

Josh Bivens, Director of Research
Economic Policy Institute

Rayburn House Office Building, Room 2237
Monday, March 20, 2017

Disconnect between productivity and a typical worker's compensation, 1948–2015

Year Hourly compensation Net productivity
1948  0.00% 0.00%
1949 6.25% 1.55%
1950 10.48% 9.33%
1951 11.75% 12.35%
1952 15.04% 15.63%
1953 20.84% 19.55%
1954 23.52% 21.56%
1955 28.74% 26.46%
1956 33.94% 26.66%
1957 37.14% 30.09%
1958 38.16% 32.78%
1959 42.55% 37.64%
1960 45.49% 40.05%
1961 47.99% 44.36%
1962 52.47% 49.79%
1963 55.02% 55.01%
1964 58.50% 59.99%
1965 62.46% 64.94%
1966 64.89% 70.00%
1967 66.89% 72.05%
1968 70.73% 77.16%
1969 74.66% 77.88%
1970 76.59% 80.37%
1971 82.01% 87.10%
1972 91.24% 92.05%
1973 91.29% 96.75%
1974 86.96% 93.66%
1975 86.84% 97.92%
1976 89.66% 103.44%
1977 93.13% 105.79%
1978 95.96% 107.79%
1979  93.43% 108.14%
1980 88.56% 106.57%
1981 87.59% 111.02%
1982 87.76% 107.88%
1983 88.35% 114.13%
1984 86.94% 119.73%
1985 86.31% 123.43%
1986 87.32% 127.99%
1987 84.59% 129.12%
1988 83.85%  131.78%
1989 83.70% 133.65%
1990 82.22% 136.98%
1991 81.87% 138.89%
1992 83.04% 147.56%
1993 83.38% 148.37%
1994 83.82% 150.75%
1995 82.70% 150.86%
1996 82.79% 156.92%
1997 84.80% 160.50%
1998 89.17% 165.71%
1999 91.92% 172.08%
2000 92.90% 178.50%
2001 95.56% 182.84%  
2002 99.38% 190.72%
2003 101.63% 200.17%
2004 100.84% 208.21%
2005 100.05% 213.58%
2006 100.21% 215.48%
2007 101.70% 217.70%
2008 101.71% 218.24%
2009 109.69% 224.75%
2010 111.53% 234.28%
2011 109.06% 234.67%
2012 107.27% 236.51%
2013 108.32% 237.57%
2014 109.13% 239.30%
2015 112.53% 241.08%
ChartData Download data

The data below can be saved or copied directly into Excel.

Note: Data are for average hourly compensation of production/nonsupervisory workers in the private sector and net productivity of the total economy. "Net productivity" is the growth of output of goods and services minus depreciation per hour worked.

Source: EPI analysis of data from the BEA and BLS (see technical appendix of Understanding the Historic Divergence Between Productivity and a Typical Worker's Pay for more detailed information)

Source: Economic Policy Institute analysis of data from the Bureau of Economic Analysis' National Income and Product Accounts and the Bureau of Labor Statistics' Consumer Price Indexes and Labor Productivity and Costs programs (see technical appendix of Understanding the Historic Divergence Between Productivity and a Typical Worker's Pay for more detailed information)

Figure 3 The NAIRU versus actual unemployment 1

Period after 1979 when wages did rise

Time Periods 1996–2001 Rest of period
20th 2.3% -0.7%
Median 1.6% -0.2%
70th 1.4% 0.0%
95th 2.0% 0.7%
ChartData Download data

The data below can be saved or copied directly into Excel.

Source: EPI analysis of Current Population Survey public data series

Fiscal austerity explains why recovery has been so long in coming: Change in per capita government spending over last four business cycles

1982Q4 1991Q1 2001Q4 2009Q2
-6 90.83817
-5 96.46779 91.33168
-4 96.72548 97.80345
-3 96.51523 96.35624 94.05089
-2 97.21731 98.09825 98.14218 94.4813
-1 98.26435 98.92533 97.98324 96.68474
100 100 100 100
1 100.3829 100.7468 101.5275 99.84022
2 100.9558 100.4456 102.3723 99.50632
3 101.005 100.9653 102.8023 100.7222
4 99.79553 102.3054 103.3013 101.0192
5 100.4771 102.4831 103.1351 101.1242
6 101.715 102.7714 104.3665 100.3432
7 102.037 102.2554 104.5556 98.88213
8 103.485 101.9195 104.6451 98.15822
9 104.602 101.724 105.4192 97.23836
10 106.0107 102.011 105.8382 96.86414
11 107.6073 101.868 105.804 95.9267
12 107.6288 101.2959 105.4445 95.78736
13 108.7749 101.4328 106.1767 95.40735
14 110.4932 102.1325 106.3521 94.83589
15 112.3029 101.9209 106.5289 94.21625
16 111.6476 102.6275 106.0185 93.90439
17 112.0741 102.8173 107.5423 93.62299
18 112.6221 102.3836 107.6773 93.04895
19 112.3952 101.1486  107.8776 93.22292
20 113.0807 101.9359 108.2144 93.60604
21 113.3476 103.2437 109.1187  94.245
22 113.3408 102.7047 109.0787 94.14226
23 113.108  102.7598 109.5846 95.09063
24 114.405 103.1194 109.8789 95.43504
25 114.9973 103.4402 95.722
26 116.1049 103.3562 95.86387
27 116.8758 103.2392 96.35498

 

ChartData Download data

The data below can be saved or copied directly into Excel.

Note: For total government spending, government consumption and investment expenditures deflated with the NIPA price deflator. Government transfer payments deflated with the price deflator for personal consumption expenditures. This figure includes state and local government spending.

Source: EPI analysis of data from Tables 1.1.4, 3.1, and 3.9.4 from the National Income and Product Accounts (NIPA) of the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA)

Economic Policy Institute: epi.org