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        發達國家的就業率空前之高(下)

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        On average, however, labour markets across the rich world are clearly getting tighter. America’s is plainly overheating.

        然而,平均而言,發達國家的勞動力市場顯然正變得越來越緊張。美國的經濟明顯過熱。

        In March average hourly earnings were 5.6% higher than a year earlier, on the headline measure. Another gauge suggests that the lowest-paid are seeing bigger rises.

        根據總體指標,3月份的平均時薪比去年同期增長了5.6%。另一項指標顯示,收入最低的人群的工資漲幅更大。

        Goldman Sachs, a bank, produces a wage tracker that corrects for various pandemic-related distortions. It is more than 5% higher than a year ago, the fastest rate of increase since the data began in the 1980s.

        高盛銀行推出了一項工資跟蹤指標,修正了與疫情相關的各種異常數據。這比一年前高出5%以上,是自上世紀80年代開始有數據記錄以來的最快增速。

        Almost all wage measures in America show unusually rapid growth (by comparison, manufacturing wages rose by an annual average of 4.1% in 1960-2019).

        美國幾乎所有的工資指標都出現了異乎尋常的快速增長(相比之下,1960年至2019年,制造業的工資平均每年增長4.1%)。

        Before the pandemic, underlying French wage growth was in the region of 1-2% a year. Now it is close to 3%. Italy looks similar.

        在新冠疫情之前,法國工資的基本增長率為每年1-2%?,F在它接近3%。意大利的情況也差不多。

        On March 23rd Norway’s central bank noted that “wage inflation has been higher than projected, and wage expectations have risen.” Britain is particularly striking.

        3月23日,挪威央行指出,“工資通脹高于預期,人們對工資的預期也有所上升?!庇绕湟俗⒛?。

        On Goldman’s measure, underlying pay there is rising at an annual rate of about 5%. Surveys of businesses suggest that even faster growth over the coming year cannot be ruled out.

        按照高盛的標準,英國的基本工資正以每年5%左右的速度增長。對企業的調查表明,不能排除未來一年經濟會出現更快增長的可能性。

        Across the g10 large economies as a whole wages are rising by at least 4% a year.

        在十國集團(g10)這個大型經濟體中,工資每年至少上漲4%。

        Is this sustainable? To most people wage growth of 4% hardly sounds malign. But the arithmetic is inescapable.

        這種情況會持續下去嗎?對大多數人來說,4%的工資增福聽起來并不是什么壞事。但我們總是免不了要算一算。

        At 4% wage growth, labour productivity (ie, the value of what workers produce per hour) must grow by at least 2% a year in order to be consistent with an inflation target of 2%.

        在工資增長4%的情況下,勞動生產率(即工人每小時生產的價值)必須每年至少增長2%,才能與2%的通脹目標保持一致。

        Businesses would pass on half their extra hourly wage costs to customers in the form of higher prices, but would absorb the other half since they would be selling more goods and services, or producing them more efficiently.

        時薪成本增長中剩下的2%,企業會將其中一半以更高的價格轉嫁給消費者,另一半自行吸收,因為它們會賣出更多的商品和服務,或生產效率有所提高。

        Productivity growth of 2% a year is not unachievable, but it would be a lot stronger than it was before the pandemic.

        每年2%的生產率增長是可能實現的,但它會比新冠疫情前強得多。

        Although productivity growth does seem faster than normal, our analysis of data from oecd countries suggests that it falls short of 2%.

        盡管生產率增長看起來確實比正常速度快,但我們對經合組織國家數據的分析表明,生產率增長實際還沒有達到2%。

        It may yet rise as companies reap the gains from their large investments in remote-working technologies and digitisation.

        不過,隨著企業從對遠程辦公技術和數字化的大規模投資中獲益,這一比例可能還會上升。

        Hopes of higher productivity, however, must be weighed against fears of still-higher wage growth.

        然而,期待生產率提高的同時,還必須考慮人們對工資繼續增長的擔憂。

        If heady wage growth cannot be sustained, how might it fall? One long-floated possibility in those countries with lagging overall employment rates is that people who have left the workforce return, boosting the supply of labour.

        如果工資的快速增長無法持續,那它會如何下降呢?在這些總體就業率落后的國家,長期存在的一種可能性是,離開勞動力市場的人會回來,從而增加勞動力供應量。

        Fear of covid-19 might eventually fade and child care might become easier to find, easing worker shortages and causing wage growth to fall.

        對新冠疫情的恐懼可能最終會消退,兒童保育也許會更容易獲得,從而緩解勞動力短缺,并導致工資增長下降。

        This hope is receding, however. Although many Americans have returned to the workforce over the past six months, wage growth has not slowed—in fact, it has accelerated.

        然而,這種希望正在消退。盡管許多美國人在過去的六個月里重新回到了工作崗位,但工資增長并沒有放緩——事實上,它還在加速增長。

        The Economist calculates that in September there were nearly 1.9m “missing” workers aged 25 to 54, based on participation rates in January 2020 and adjusting for population growth.

        根據2020年1月的參與率以及對人口增長進行的調整,《經濟學人》估計,去年9月,25歲至54歲的“失蹤”工人有近190萬人。

        By March 2022 this had fallen by more than half to about 750,000—or less than two months’ worth of job growth at the recent pace.

        到2022年3月,這一數字下降了一半以上,降至75萬左右——按最近的速度,低于兩個月的就業增長。

        There are another 1.3m missing older workers, but most are over 65 and likely to have retired permanently (and the number of missing over-65s has been growing).

        另外還有130萬“失蹤”的老年工人,但大多數都超過65歲,可能已經永久退休了(而且65歲以上“失蹤”的人數還在增加)。

        It is likely, therefore, that in America and elsewhere labour markets will have to be cooled the old-fashioned way: by central banks raising interest rates, making it a little more attractive to save than spend and choking off demand for labour.

        因此,美國和其他地方的勞動力市場很可能會被迫用老辦法降溫:通過央行提高利率,讓儲蓄比消費更具吸引力,從而抑制市場對勞動力的需求。

        The Fed has already increased rates by 0.25 percentage points, and is expected to do so by a total of 2.5 points this year.

        美聯儲已經加息0.25個百分點,預計今年將總共加息2.5個百分點。

        America may prove an example of what happens when policymakers respond to a labour market that has become dangerously hot.

        當勞動力市場過熱時,政策制定者們會作何反應,美國或許會提供一個這樣的范例。

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