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Workers Lose Wages While Big Business Gains

Even while on a five-week vacation in Crawford, Texas, President George W. Bush continues his efforts to convince the American public the nation’s recent economic recovery—after years of job losses and dismal performance—is good news for all Americans. But two recent studies show the economy is doing a lot better for Big Business than for working families.

While the Bush administration hailed the news that wages of blue collar, nonmanagerial workers rose 0.4 percent in July, a new study by the Economic Policy Institute (EPI) finds that those wages actually declined in July, as inflation sliced into the wage increase––and more.

“The real hourly wages [adjusted for inflation] of those workers remain at almost the exact same level as when the current recovery began.…In fact, real hourly earnings fell in all but two of the last 15 months,” EPI reports.

Meanwhile, a Center on Budget and Policy Priorities report looks at seven standard economic indicators—including income from wages and salaries, employment and corporate profits—and compares their performance in this economic recovery to other post-World War II recoveries.

The study finds the performances of six of the seven indicators in this recovery are below the average for comparable post-war economic upturns.

“The current period,” the report finds, “has outperformed the average in only one respect: corporate profits, which have grown far more rapidly than average.”

See the Economic Policy Institute report, “Inflation Trumps Wage Gains Again.”

Read “How Does This Recovery Measure Up?” from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.

Learn more about Jobs, Wages and the Global Economy and get more info, including downloadable fact sheets, at the AFL-CIO Facts and Stats site.


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