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Global Competition Pressing Down U.S. Wages

Memphis Commercial Appeal (06/08/13) John Schmid

American wages have begun to fall due to competition from China and other low-wage countries. Jeff Joerres, chief executive of ManpowerGroup Inc., says “It’s happening so fast on a global scale that it’s scary.” The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ latest economic census reports wage declines across the entire national economy, with a 1.1% drop posted during the year-over-year period ended in September. Of the six year-over-year declines recorded since 1978, four have occurred since 2009. Joerres expects the wage squeeze to become “the new normal” as global economies become more connected. The International Labor Organization’s latest Global Wage Report indicates that wage competition among nations could result in them shrinking their own economies.