Friday, January 11, 2008

Noted in passing

This is old stuff, but I just came across the article today and I wanted to mention something about it. It comes from for September 18, 2007:
Last year, U.S. workers each produced $63,885 in value-added labor, compared to $55,986 by workers in Ireland, the next closest economy, according to the United Nation's International Labor Office.

Yet, measured as value added per hour worked, American workers dropped behind those in Norway where workers produced $37.99 per hour, compared to $35.63 in the United States and $35.08 in France. That's because U.S. employees tend to work much longer hours than workers in other developed economies, the Geneva-based agency reported.
At the same time, according the fed's Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2006 the median hourly wage for American workers was $14.61 and the mean hourly wage was $18.84.

That means that the average worker receives no better than roughly half of the value they create. Which means in turn that some folks somewhere along the economic ladder are getting a lot more income than they deserve in terms of the value they create.

Gee, I wonder at which end of the ladder those folks are? Let me think....

Footnote: Among the ILO's goals is "decent work," for which it has a useful definition of productive employment that provides fair income, job security and social protection for those who speak out and organize against unfair workplace conditions.

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