Corporate Success Hasn’t Benefited Lowest-paid

Columbus Dispatch - September 27, 2006

Columbus Dispatch

By Alan Johnson

Worker productivity, corporate profits and executive wages have risen in recent years, but Ohio’s lowest-paid workers haven’t shared the benefits.

That is the conclusion of a study released yesterday by the Center for American Progress and Policy Matters Ohio, a nonpartisan but union-affiliated policy group.

The study said Ohio worker productivity increased 2.1 percent annually from 2000 through 2005, but average weekly wages, adjusted for inflation, were up 0.2 percent.

Meanwhile, executive pay grew 3.4 percent on average and U.S. corporate profits jumped 50 percent in the same period, researchers said.

The study was timed to support Ohio’s proposed constitutional amendment to raise the state minimum wage from $5.15 per hour to $6.85.

The organizations said it would impact 700,000 Ohioans.

Opponents charge that the issue would backfire by robbing Ohio of thousands of jobs as employers cut back to meet higher payroll demands.

The amendment will be State Issue 2 on the Nov. 7 ballot.

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