6 December 2018   Leave a comment

The International Labour Organisation has published its annual report on wage growth in the world and its conclusions are downbeat:

“Global wage growth in 2017 was not only lower than in 2016, but fell to its lowest growth rate since 2008, remaining far below the levels obtaining before the global financial crisis. Global wage growth in real terms (that is, adjusted for price inflation) has declined from 2.4 per cent in 2016 to just 1.8 per cent in 2017…..Looking at trends in average wages and labour productivity over the period 1999–2017 in 52 high-income countries, the report finds that, on average, labour productivity has increased more rapidly (by a total of 17 per cent) than real wages (13 per cent), although the gap between the two trends narrowed between 2015 and 2017. Overall, the decoupling between wages and labour productivity explains why labour income shares (the share of labour compensation in GDP) in many countries remain substantially below those of the early 1990s.”

The slow growth in wages explains much of the political dissatisfaction we see in the world, such as the yellow jacket protests in France.  There must be a concerted effort to make sure that wages grow as productivity grows,  The report also points out that there is a significant gender gap in wages, after accounting for the differences in work performed: “Using these four different combinations (mean/median and hourly/monthly), the report finds that the weighted global estimates range from about 16 per cent to 22 per cent, depending on which measure is used. The gender pay gap of 22 per cent is obtained when using median monthly wages.”

 

 

 

North Korea is expanding its missile bases at Yeongjeo-dong and Hoejung-ri despite its professed aims of working toward denuclearization.  The North Koreans use mobile missile launchers so that their missiles cannot be targeted by an opponent and taken out before launch.  The mobile missile launchers are hidden in tunnels drilled into mountains which make them virtually indestructible.  The expansion also occurs as North Korean leader Kim is planning a visit to Seoul to meet his South Korean counterpart, President Moon.  There is also evidence that China is increasing its trade with North Korea despite the US’s insistence that the trade sanctions remain in place.  The Chinese behavior makes US pressure on North Korea less effective.

 

Posted December 6, 2018 by vferraro1971 in World Politics

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