The Productivity–Pay Gap

Source: Economic Policy Institute, updated August 2018

Most Americans believe that a rising tide should lift all boats—that as the economy expands, everybody should reap the rewards. And for two-and-a-half decades beginning in the late 1940s, this was how our economy worked. Over this period, the pay (wages and benefits) of typical workers rose in tandem with productivity (how much workers produce per hour). In other words, as the economy became more efficient and expanded, everyday Americans benefited correspondingly through better pay. But in the 1970s, this started to change. ….

Productivity–Pay Tracker Change: 
1973–2017: Productivity +77.0%
Hourly pay +12.4%
Productivity has grown 6.2x more than pay