Magazine August 12, 2019, Issue

The Trump Economy 

(Roman Genn)
There’s a lot for him to take credit for

Wages are growing, and corporations are whining about it.

MarketWatch reports that mentions of “labor costs” in companies’ earnings calls with investors have doubled since 2016. Businesses’ tendency to name labor costs as their No. 1 problem in surveys has soared as well. Per the Atlanta Fed’s Wage Growth Tracker, wages grew 3.7 percent in the year ending in May, and growth was strongest at the bottom: 4.4 percent for the lowest-earning quarter of the population.

Late last year, the Conference Board, a business group, warned of a blue-collar-labor “shortage,” a word the New York Times has deployed as well to describe

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