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Labour’s declining share of national income

By   /  December 4, 2018  /  8 Comments

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The economist for the Council of Trade Unions Bill Rosenberg has produced some revealing data about the resumption of the declining share of labour income in the New Zealand economy in the most recent CTU economic Bulletin.

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The economist for the Council of Trade Unions Bill Rosenberg has produced some revealing data about the resumption of the declining share of labour income in the New Zealand economy in the most recent CTU economic Bulletin.

Since 2009, compensation of employees as a proportion of Net Domestic Income (NDI) fell from 61.2% to 59.1% in 2018 or about an average $2,122 of every wage and salary earner per year.

Not surprisingly, locally owned corporate profits went from 11.6% to 17.9% of NDI over the same period. If we add in overseas investors in, corporate profit is over a quarter of all income.

It is also worth noting that very high salaries (the top 0.1%) have gone from 13 times the average to 17 times and their share of wage and salary income has gone from 1.3 to 1.7 percent of all wage and salary income.

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About the author

Mike Treen

National Director of Unite Union


  1. Castro says:

    Hmm… keep importing hordes of foreign workers to further suppress wages? How “Left”!

    • CLEANGREEN says:

      The right wingers model of using “the sinking lid” to achieve their goals of less wages for the 99% of us.

    • Sam Sam says:

      It always comes back to immigration.

      • Michelle says:

        immigration is alright providing it is done properly and it wasn’t under national they brought in as many as they could and our infrastructure couldn’t cope and still isn’t. We are now seeing all the problems with bringing cheap labour here.

      • John W says:

        Immigration means more consumers. Business NZ likes that as do investors and banks.

        But we end up with heavy expenses and loss of environment.

  2. Marc says:

    Societal, technological and economic changes are behind this. With technological advancement, what we humans do with the computerised and mechanised machines we have, becomes more and more limited.

    Even at the large stock exchanges it is now pre programmed computers doing the bidding and trading, hence not so many unusual ups and downs anymore.

    Once employers did the hiring and firing themselves, now they engage endless middle men, agents, personnel hire firms and so forth, to do the selection and deselection of ‘staff’.

    Once upon a time many things were built and made with men or women swinging tools, now we have robots make cars and machines, we even have 3D printers do previously unimaginable things.

    Government, corporations, even small to medium size businesses have changed face, large systems are used, rather impersonal ones, and smaller enterprises use special accounting software and outsource other administrative work.

    Much is made off-shore, even call centres serve us, that are based in the Philippines and so.

    Urbanisation has led to people relying on hygienically and appealingly packaged goods that can be bought in 24/7 supermarkets, there is NO connection to the growing and manufacturing of foodstuffs, as there once used to be.

    Kids do in some cases not even know that milk comes from cows or eggs from chickens. But they can tell what cans and packages they like, that is the contents in them.

    People shop with i-phones, and with apps now, supply chains are reaching across the globe, we are all mere numbers and tiny wheels in huge systems and networks.

    Trying to create your own world and environment is a privilege for the rich and powerful, the rest live in small apartments, flats they share and in rented rooms here and there, having little space and room for creativity.

    In a world like this, increasingly polluted, where unions have lost members and power, and where nobody really trusts others that much anymore, you will not be able to have a society where the poor and powerless can have a fair share.

    Only by using your power, that has to be applied collectively, can people change the situation, but few dare do it, they are too busy with click bait and social chattery and sending each other the newest pics via smart phones, forgetting that they are losing ever more power, due to sharing their online data and behaviour with those corporations syphoning this off and observing them 24/7.

    It is pure madness what I see, pure madness, only a revolution in anger and done by enough to resemble a majority of society will ever change the status quo, and it is not going to happen any time soon, perhaps once the system collapses, for whatever reason.

  3. darth says:

    i still think the trigger will be a debt collapse we are at bubble everything debt stocks houseing all over inflated with cheap printed money.

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