The business section of the New York Times—there is no labor section—last week reported that U.S. workers have increased productivity while their pay has declined—creating what the newspaper called “a stark leap in inequality.” It stands in contrast to the relatively stable share of the economy workers enjoyed during the early 20th century. “Labor is getting a shrinking slice of a pie that’s not growing very much,” said Massachusetts Institute of Technology economist David Autor.
“Over the last 15 years … labor productivity has grown faster than wages, a sign that workers are not being adequately compensated for their contributions,” the Times reported. “And some industries have fared worse than others. Slices of the pie going to mining and manufacturing narrowed the most, while service workers (including professional and business services) had the biggest gains.”
A team of leading economists pointed at the development of gargantuan companies like Facebook, Google, Costco, Target and Walmart as fueling the disparity. The Times report was illustrated with a photograph of an Amazon Arizona workplace. An Amazon distribution facility in northern Nevada has operated for several years in Fernley. The corporation is in the process of abandoning that town for Reno.
The Nevada Legislature is considering enactment of bills increasing the minimum wage, though at least two them make the change gradual over a period of years.