Lawrence Mishel

Lawrence Mishel is president of the Economic Policy Institute, an independent, nonprofit, nonpartisan think tank that researches the impact of economic trends and policies on working people in the United States and around the world. EPI's mission is to inform people and empower them to seek solutions that will ensure broadly shared prosperity and opportunity.

Recent Articles

Rising Tides, Sinking Wages

The economy has grown, productivity is up, profits are soaring. There's just one problem: Americans' standard of living.

The economy seems to be in great shape. The growth rate in 1994 was a
brisk 4.1
percent. Unemployment has been hovering at about 5.5 percent, well below the 6
to 6.5 percent level that many economists (wrongly) consider full employment.
Job growth has been so strong that President Clinton's campaign pledge to
create eight million jobs may well be fulfilled in the third year of his first
term. Corporate profitability has reached postwar records. The stock market is
booming. Inflation is nowhere to be found except in the imagination of central
bankers and bond traders.

Behind the Numbers: Capital's Gain

Contrary to the conventional view among economists, the shares of national income going to capital and labor have shifted. Capital's gain has been labor's loss.

The income squeeze on the middle class is the big economic
story of this decade, but record-setting stock prices and soaring
executive pay remind us that not everyone is experiencing a squeeze.
The stock market boom and the executive windfalls, in turn, reflect
growth in corporate profits. And the contrast between spectacular
profit trends and the disappointing wage growth could not be more
dramatic.

The Myth of the Coming Labor Shortage

Recent discussions of the future of work and employment have assumed a coming "labor shortage," as well as a "skills mismatch" between the characteristics of American workers and the needs of employers. This view has been widely propagated by the Department of Labor under Presidents Reagan and Bush. As Elizabeth Dole put it while she was Secretary of Labor, "America faces a work force crisis" because there are a diminishing number of people eligible and qualified "for the ever-increasing complexity of jobs in our economy."

Pages