Corporate America Is Suppressing Wages for Many Workers

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New York, New York. February 28, 2018

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Even after eight years of economic recovery and steady private-sector job growth, wages for most Americans have hardly budged. In a new study for the Brookings Institution’s Hamilton Project, we report survey results in which we find that one in five workers with a high school education or less are subject to a noncompete.

Unions used to offset employer company power to suppress wages and limit job mobility, but unions now represent only 7 percent of private sector workers, down from a peak of 35 percent in the 1950s. Combating the practices that employers use to monopsonize the labor market can lead to higher wages, more jobs and faster economic growth.

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