2017年09月09日

アメリカには給与上昇の謎があるのか。 給与が上昇しないのは経済が完全雇用の状態ではないからだ。

Is there a wage growth puzzle in America?
Weak wage growth suggests the economy is not at full employment
Sep 1st 2017by H.C. | WASHINGTON, DC

アメリカには給与上昇の謎があるのか。
給与が上昇しないのは経済が完全雇用の状態ではないからだ。



TODAY’S labour market report showed that the American economy created 156,000 net new jobs in August. That was a bit less than expected, but payrolls are still growing comfortably faster than the working-age population. Despite having created over 2m jobs in the last year, pushing unemployment below 4.5% for the last five months, wage growth remains muted, at around 2.5%, compared to more like 3.5% the last time unemployment was comparably low. In a recent article for the print edition, I analysed one potential explanation for weak wage growth: retirements of high-earnings baby-boomers.

muted:穏やかな・和らげる・抑える

Scott Sumner has taken issue with the premise of my piece. He says there is no puzzle at all. Instead, slow wage growth is being caused by slow growth in nominal GDP (cash-terms spending in the economy) — “end of story”. He says I forgot about monetary superneutrality, the idea that in the long run, neither monetary policy nor changes in monetary policy affect real economic variables like unemployment. He quotes Miles Kimball:

premise:根拠

Sometimes journalists discuss a zero output gap combined with too-low inflation as if such a situation were strange, but a range of different macroeconomic theories all have the property that a zero output gap is consistent with any constant inflation rate. 

output gap:産出量ギャップ(とは、経済学において、潜在産出量(潜在GDP) と実際の総産出量 (actual output) の差である。GDPギャップ(GDP gap) または需給ギャップとも呼ばれる。総産出量をY、潜在産出量をY*とすると、Y-Y*で算出される。この差が正数ならインフレ・ギャップ (inflationary gap) と呼ばれ、総需要の増加が総供給の増加を上回っていることを示し、経済にインフレーション(好況)をもたらす。負数であればデフレ・ギャップ (recessionary gap) と呼ばれ、デフレーション(不況)をもたらす圧力となる。

Mr Kimball is right, of course. In the long run, an economy and its labour market can sustain any inflation rate in equilibrium. But, contrary to Mr Sumner’s argument, this does not tell us much about America’s economy today. The labour market is plainly not in equilibrium. It continues to add jobs faster than the population is growing. The question for policymakers is: how long can that continue? 

Another way of putting the question is to ask what would happen if the Fed let nominal GDP grow a little faster. If no output gap remains, more nominal GDP growth would translate into more inflation, and hence into higher nominal wage growth (unemployment might also temporarily fall below its natural rate, a concept whose history I recently wrote about). Alternatively, it is possible that faster nominal GDP growth would lead to more job creation without sparking much inflation or wage growth, just as was possible when unemployment was higher. 

Mr Sumner seems to think we are in the first world. In my view, we are in the second. That wage growth is disappointing is evidence that the economy has not yet reached the natural rate of unemployment (or perhaps the natural rate of employment, given that recent improvements in the labour market have come partly via higher labour market participation among women). 

Mr Sumner’s view implies there is no output gap, the labour market is in equilibrium, and wage growth is low because inflation expectations have been low. I find this unconvincing, for two reasons. First, it means that unless the Federal Reserve brings job growth back in line with working-age population growth, inflation will soon rise. (Central banks cannot for long keep unemployment below its natural rate.) Yet inflation is in fact falling. 



Second, as Adam Ozimek at Moody’s Analytics has shown, wage growth as measured by the employment cost index is almost exactly where you would expect it to be given the employment-to-population ratio for 25- to 54-year-olds (see chart). If the rate of wage growth consistent with labour market equilibrium had changed to account for a shift in trend nominal GDP growth, you would expect this relationship to have broken down. It has not.

Janet Yellen’s critics tend to say she is excessively devoted to the idea that low unemployment portends higher inflation. They characterize this as adherence to the Phillips curve, which is associated in many peoples’ minds with Keynesian thinking. But it was monetarists who first argued that policymakers ultimately cannot control unemployment, because if loose money drives unemployment too low, inflation will accelerate. It is right for the Fed to look for the labour market for signals as to whether monetary policy is tighter or looser than the economy can sustain. Wage growth is the clearest of those signals. And it suggests that we are not in the long run yet. 

portends :の前触れとなる

アメリカの給与が上昇しないのはなぜかという話題で、雇用統計では失業率が低下してきている。インフレは低いままだ。金融緩和しても需給ギャップがゼロのままなので、インフレは変化しない。雇用が増加しても、完全雇用ではないので、給与上昇の引き金にはならない。だから、雇用は改善してるが、給与上昇には結びつかない。雇用が完全雇用になれば給与は上昇していく。ケインズの経済理論だ。

トランプが言う労働者の給与をあげようという論理は今のアメリカには無理がある。今までの製造業は海外との競争からより高い賃金を払うことは出来ない。労働者の再教育によって更なるスキルを身につけるしか方法はない。従来の製造業での雇用を喚起しても無理がある。AIとかロボットのような業界には新たな雇用のチャンスがある。

土曜日。今日は海野塾がある。ではまた明日。

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海野 恵一
1948年1月14日生

学歴:東京大学経済学部卒業

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アクセンチュア株式会社代表取締役(2001-2002)
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