Checking Seumas\’ statistics

I\’m not sure that this is correct:

The result was dramatic, not only in the huge boost to inequality and the income of the well-off, but also in the US-style decline in the share of GDP going to wages and salaries – which fell from a peak of 65% in 1975 to 53% last year – as corporate profits swelled.

Around 50% only for wages and salaries? That doesn\’t sound right at all. Anyone understand the ONS site well enough to see where he\’s plucked that figure from? Or what the actual figure is?

I\’m pretty sure that the last time I looked the number was still in the mid 60s…..

7 thoughts on “Checking Seumas\’ statistics”

  1. I actually think the decline has been smaller in the US and UK, although one has to be a bit careful as both countries have seen a leap higher at the very top, and such salaries are really more like profits than wages.

  2. The data is from here (1.04), and does confirm 64% to 53% (if you do your own calculation and unless I’m missing something)

    http://www.statistics.gov.uk/elmr/05_09/1.asp

    Profits from non-financial corporations have risen from 11% to 18%, which explains 7% of the 11% decline, and from financial 1% to 4%, which explains most of the rest, although public corporations has fallen from 4% to 1%, so in fact we need another 4%, of which 1% comes from ‘other income’ (what is this?) and 3% higher taxes.

  3. Matthew,

    If the numbers you point to are correct, two-thirds of this decline happened between 1975 and 1979, pre-Thatcher.

  4. It was Seumas Milne’s point not mine, so I’m not sure what you want me to say.

    Callaghan/IMF reforms?

  5. Try graphing that data series. The changes are tiny except for a bump around 1975 (during the period of stagflation).

  6. I don’t agree, I have to say. I just charted it and there’s a definite decline of about 5% of GDP over the period. GDP is enormous, and 5% is a large percentage.

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