Thursday, July 09, 2015

Rising to the challenge of a 21st century workforce

As reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, we are currently enjoying the longest run of private sector job growth on record―64 consecutive months to the tune of 12.8 million new private sector jobs overall. We’ve come a long way since late 2008 and early 2009 when the economy, on the brink of meltdown, was shedding hundreds of thousands of jobs each month.

The resilience of American workers―together with the ingenuity of our businesses and leadership from the Obama administration―pulled us out of the worst economic crisis of our lifetimes. And I have every confidence that our workers, ever innovative and industrious, will continue to be our most valuable economic asset a quarter century from now.

But still we face lingering and looming challenges. For about the first 25 years of the post-World War II era, wages rose more or less in line with productivity. But from 1973 to 2013, productivity has continued to soar (an increase of 74.4 percent), while hourly compensation for the typical worker has virtually flattened (up only 9.2 percent). Over the last four decades, workers have not received their fair share of the value they have helped create. They are serving the economy better than the economy is serving them.

More from the Bureau of Labor Statistics

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