Stagnant US trucker wages raise questions about macro theory

In spite of a thriving economy and driver shortages, wage growth in US haulage have been lagging, leaving economists (and Fed officials) scratching their heads

Despite a huge shortage of drivers and soaring transportation costs as a result, wages in the US haulage sector have remained stuck. This illustrates the ongoing chasm between macro theory (which would suggest much stronger wages) and reality (still-tepid wage growth).

While microeconomic dynamics specific to the sector might be at play (beyond the scope of this note), some broader macro factors could have a role as well, including the rising bargaining power of firms compared to workers, the low and falling unionisation rate, a workforce that is less mobile than before, as well as the rise of benefits in kind (healthcare benefits and pensions) in lieu of salaries.

This said, wage growth continues to gradually march higher throughout the US economy.

 But the puzzle of a very tight labour market and relatively lukewarm wage growth remains.

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