Updates / The Knowledge Economy


By / 3.12.2018

I’ve been arguing that the shift to ecommerce has improved the position of workers, by increasing the number of jobs and boosting wage payments. In a nice twitter discussion last week, Jose Azar pointed out that I had not specified a counterfactual, and he was right. So here I will make up for that omission, […]

By / 3.9.2018

There’s a lot of talk about labor monopsony these days.  But at least in ecommerce, the labor market seems to be working the old-fashioned way—booming demand for fulfillment center workers and package delivery workers is leading to sharply rising real wages. Over the past year, employment of production and nonsupervisory workers in the warehousing industry […]

By / 3.5.2018

PPI has repeatedly made the economic case that accelerating the deployment of 5G  is essential for boosting growth.   For example, in a 2016 report, we estimated that next generation wireless could add 0.7 percentage points annually to economic growth.* Moreover, as we noted in a January 2018 report, 5G networks can play a key role […]

By / 2.16.2018

Overall, 2017 was still a weak year for wage growth. In the private sector, real hourly wages for production and nonsupervisory workers rose only 0.2% in 2017, the slowest rate since 2012. However, production and nonsupervisory workers did do significantly better in some industries. The table below lists the top 2017 increases in real hourly […]

By / 2.13.2018

In light of the FTC confirmation hearings tomorrow, we’ve been thinking about competition policy. We would like to propose a different approach to competition policy, one that goes far beyond Chicago-style antitrust analysis. There’s little doubt that recent research has conclusively demonstrated increased concentration across almost every sector of the US economy over the past […]

By / 2.2.2018

In this note we summarize the growth in ecommerce jobs in 2017, based on the methodology described in our September 2017 report,  “How Ecommerce Creates Jobs and Reduces Income Inequality.” We find that the number of ecommerce jobs rose by 133K in 2017, with half of that amount coming from the growth of ecommerce fulfillment […]

By / 2.1.2018

Amazon is the fastest US company–and perhaps the fastest company anywhere–to 300,000 workers. Its rapid expansion is creating tech-enabled work in virtually every corner of the country, with our estimates showing that fulfillment center jobs pay 31% more, on average, than brick-and-mortar retail jobs in the same area. Now, there are all sorts of interesting […]

By / 1.4.2018

Report uses Upstate New York as case study for potential economic boon from ‘Internet of Goods’ WASHINGTON —The Progressive Policy Institute (PPI) today released a new report by Chief Economic Strategist Michael Mandel highlighting how the next wave of digitally-driven manufacturing – an essential part of what he calls the “Internet of Goods” – has […]

By / 1.3.2018

Tech and tech-enabled jobs are becoming increasingly important to many state economies–not just the tech hubs like California and Texas.  Particularly important is the role of ecommerce, which is driving the creation of hundreds of thousands of tech-enabled electronic shopping and fulfillment center jobs around the country (for example, see here).  Going forward, we expect […]

By / 10.23.2017

Tomorrow (October 24th), the Bureau of Labor Statistics will release the latest version of their ten-year employment projections.  They will likely project job growth of roughly ten million jobs over the next ten years. Generally what gets the most attention is the BLS list of the fastest growing occupations, and those are certainly interesting.  But […]