More for Less?

I came across this factoid on while gearing back up after Labor Day. The current expansion may be the first period of sustained economic growth since World War II that failed to bring an increase in real wages for most workers. The value of most workers’ benefits is also failing to keep pace with inflation, government data show. Meanwhile, productivity rose 16.6 percent from 2000 to 2005, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. All of this means that most people are working more and making less.

I’d love to hear your comments on what you think this trend will lead to. For instance, I do see a potential resurgence in the labor movement as employees become weary of rising executive pay. My guess is that there will be serious organizing efforts in the middle management and supervisory levels. I also believe we may see greater shareholder activism and more scrutiny on wage and salary policies. What do you think? Will employees “fight back”? Is it the beginning of a new norm for the value of work? Will productivity continue to increase or are we near burnout stage?

(You may also want to take part in the poll on

Mike Neiss posted this on September 5, 2006, in Talent.
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