American Compass today released a new policy brief as part of its Issues 2024 series highlighting the importance of worker power and its decline over the past half century. The brief documents how this trend has suppressed wage growth and redirected the benefits of economic expansion away from typical workers.
Key facts include:
- Corporate after-tax profits have grown 185% per capita since 1972, while real average wages rose just 1% over the same period.
- 85% of Republican voters say complaints of labor shortages are good because they will compel employers to improve wages and jobs. Just 15% view tight labor markets as bad and want higher immigration.
- 74% of private sector workers who could unionize prefer an organization devoted solely to workplace issues, not national politics.
The brief argues that strengthening worker power should be a priority for political leaders. This will require policies to enforce immigration law, reshore production and investment, and enable new models of worker organization.
This is the second installment in the Issues 2024 series providing insight on major policy debates leading up to the next election. The series aims to shape substantive discussion beyond partisan talking points.