Friday’s job and wage numbers show the Fed is winning, big corporations are doing great, and workers are losing ground.

by Sharon Kyle, LA Progressive

Job growth and wages are slowing. Employers added 223,000 jobs in December, the Labor Department reported Friday — lower than the average in recent months.

Average hourly wages rose by 4.6 percent in December, according to today’s report. That’s a slowdown from 4.8 percent in November.

All this is music to the ears of Fed Chair Jerome Powell because the Fed blames inflation on rising wages. The Fed has been increasing interest rates to slow the economy and thereby reduce the bargaining power of workers to get wage gains.

Striking Walmart workers and supporters protest against low wages and charge that Walmart retaliates against employees who push for better working conditions.

At his press conference on December 14 announcing the Fed’s latest interest rate hike, Powell warned that “[t]he labor market remains extremely tight, with the unemployment rate near a 50-year low, job vacancies still very high, and wage growth elevated.”

But aren’t higher wages a good thing?

The typical American worker’s wage has been stuck in the mud for four decades.

Most of the gains from a more productive economy have been going to the top — to executives and investors. The richest 10 percent of Americans now own more than 90 percent of the value of shares of stock owned by Americans.

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