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美国国家公共电台 NPR Wages Are Increasing, But What's Behind It?

时间:2017-01-05 08:16来源:互联网 提供网友:nan   字体: [ ]



It's taken years, but in 2016, wages finally started to go up. NPR's Yuki Noguchi explains.

YUKI NOGUCHI, BYLINE1: The Great Recession ended seven and a half years ago, and job gains have been steady since. But the greater demand for workers is only starting to increase pay.

MICHAEL STRAIN: The mystery has been that we've seen a decline in the unemployment rate, but we haven't seen the kind of increases in wage growth that we would expect.

NOGUCHI: Michael Strain is director of economic policy studies at the American Enterprise Institute. He speculates that, all this time, employers figured they didn't have to increase wages.

STRAIN: A lot of people have left the workforce2 and are no longer exerting upward pressure on the unemployment rate because they're not actively3 looking for work. But businesses kind of have the sense that they're out there, they are a pool of available workers. So that has, I think, suppressed wage growth.

NOGUCHI: But wage growth did pick up this year, and economists5 say there are reasons to believe it will continue to. The biggest reason is simply that the supply of labor6 is declining. The unemployment rate is near a level economists say is close to a natural unemployment rate. Simply put, that means employers are having to shell out more to attract and retain workers. New state and local minimum wage laws are another reason wages are rising. Since 2014, 21 states in Washington, D.C., changed their minimum wage laws. Last month, voters approved initiatives in Arizona, Colorado, Maine and Washington. AEI's Michael Strain says those rate increases have a ripple7 effect beyond just the lowest paid workers. Many union contracts, for example, benchmark to the minimum wage.

STRAIN: There's no question minimum wage increases cause wage growth to accelerate. How much of that can be attributed to minimum wage increases, I think, is a more open question.

NOGUCHI: In Anggie Godoy's case, minimum wage hikes made a big difference. She started working as a McDonald's drive-thru cashier three years ago making $8 an hour. Since then, the Los Angeles City Council raised the minimum wage to $10.50. Without the city's new law, she says, she would only have seen a tiny increase.

ANGGIE GODOY: Working three years there, I only got a 10-cent raise.

NOGUCHI: Godoy, who participated in fast food worker strikes demanding a $15 hourly wage, says, as her wages increased, so did those who were in more senior positions.

GODOY: When the bottom rises, everybody is going to rise, too.

NOGUCHI: Andrew Chamberlain, chief economist4 for online job site Glassdoor says Godoy is right.

ANDREW CHAMBERLAIN: Like dominoes up the pay scale, you see wage hikes all across the board.

NOGUCHI: But Chamberlain says minimum wage isn't the biggest factor. He says data suggest wages are growing fastest where demand is strongest. Pay for truck drivers, construction workers and machine operators is surging - not so in some white-collar jobs. Sales jobs and financial analysts8, for example, are losing ground to technology.

CHAMBERLAIN: Clever coders are finding ways to program around them. Insurance agents today are largely being replaced by self-service insurance websites.

NOGUCHI: David Levine is CEO of the American Sustainable Business Council, a progressive advocacy group. He says increasing pay can be a way to address another labor market problem - low productivity growth.

DAVID LEVINE: With that retention9, they're also getting employees that are more committed to the business. Therefore, productivity goes up.

NOGUCHI: Simply put, you pay more to get more.

Yuki Noguchi, NPR News, Washington.


1 byline sSXyQ     
  • His byline was absent as well.他的署名也不见了。
  • We wish to thank the author of this article which carries no byline.我们要感谢这篇文章的那位没有署名的作者。
2 workforce workforce     
  • A large part of the workforce is employed in agriculture.劳动人口中一大部分受雇于农业。
  • A quarter of the local workforce is unemployed.本地劳动力中有四分之一失业。
3 actively lzezni     
  • During this period all the students were actively participating.在这节课中所有的学生都积极参加。
  • We are actively intervening to settle a quarrel.我们正在积极调解争执。
4 economist AuhzVs     
  • He cast a professional economist's eyes on the problem.他以经济学行家的眼光审视这个问题。
  • He's an economist who thinks he knows all the answers.他是个经济学家,自以为什么都懂。
5 economists 2ba0a36f92d9c37ef31cc751bca1a748     
n.经济学家,经济专家( economist的名词复数 )
  • The sudden rise in share prices has confounded economists. 股价的突然上涨使经济学家大惑不解。
  • Foreign bankers and economists cautiously welcomed the minister's initiative. 外国银行家和经济学家对部长的倡议反应谨慎。 来自《简明英汉词典》
6 labor P9Tzs     
  • We are never late in satisfying him for his labor.我们从不延误付给他劳动报酬。
  • He was completely spent after two weeks of hard labor.艰苦劳动两周后,他已经疲惫不堪了。
7 ripple isLyh     
n.涟波,涟漪,波纹,粗钢梳;vt.使...起涟漪,使起波纹; vi.呈波浪状,起伏前进
  • The pebble made a ripple on the surface of the lake.石子在湖面上激起一个涟漪。
  • The small ripple split upon the beach.小小的涟漪卷来,碎在沙滩上。
8 analysts 167ff30c5034ca70abe2d60a6e760448     
分析家,化验员( analyst的名词复数 )
  • City analysts forecast huge profits this year. 伦敦金融分析家预测今年的利润非常丰厚。
  • I was impressed by the high calibre of the researchers and analysts. 研究人员和分析人员的高素质给我留下了深刻印象。
9 retention HBazK     
  • They advocate the retention of our nuclear power plants.他们主张保留我们的核电厂。
  • His retention of energy at this hour is really surprising.人们惊叹他在这个时候还能保持如此旺盛的精力。
TAG标签:   NPR  美国国家电台  英语听力
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