So, Smurf looks at total hours worked and notes that this is higher than in 2007. By Eyeball Mk I, from perhaps 960 million hours to 1,040 million.
He also notes that wages per person have fallen – a couple of percent – since then.
The conclusion is that we’re all working harder for less therefore.
And, well, you know. Far be it for me, a mere outsider here, to wonder whether a man who has had no less than three economics professorships might be able to understand numbers.
One of those is total hours worked by all people. The other is income per person. These cannot be compared in this manner. For what if there is a different number of people over that time period?
Ah. UK population in 2007 was 63 million. UK population in 2020 was 67 million. We’ve a 6.3% rise in population – the number of people who could be contributing to total working hours. We’ve had an 8% rise in working hours.
Or, if we look at payrolled employees we seem to have around a 10% rise in them. From which we might assume that the immigration which so contributes to the rise in population numbers is of working age folk – which is indeed about right.
At which point the mystery goes away.
“But someone got the extra reward for all that effort as the economy has grown. Could that be banks, landlords, large companies and the highest earners, by any chance?”
Well, possibly not actually. Could just be that there are more people around therefore total hours worked has gone up. While wages per worker haven’t. But you know, I’m not an economics professor so what do I know?