Ten years of productivity growth, but no increase in real wages

by Greg Jericho

Ten years of productivity gains has resulted in a zero increase in real hourly wages

If there is one maxim that gets trotted out whenever talk turns to wages, it is that all we need to do is improve productivity and then wages will grow faster.

The problem is that productivity growth should lead to stronger wages growth, but it is not automatic. When the bargaining system is so weighted against workers, rather than lead to higher wages, productivity improvements just lead to higher profits.

Since March 2012, productivity across the economy has increased 11%, in that same time real wages per hour have fallen 0.2%.

Yes productivity growth is good for the economy, but if the industrial relations system does not enable fair bargaining, it is not good for workers.

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