More Jobs, Less Pay

Productivity is no longer growing fast enough to boost wages

Illustration by Harry Campbell for TIME

Here's a thought experiment posed recently by Robert Gordon, an economics professor at Northwestern University. Imagine that you can have either a) all the wonderful technological inventions created since 2001, including Facebook, the iPhone and the iPad, or b) running water and indoor toilets. I'm betting even the most diehard geek will pick the latter, which may tell us something important about the nature of technology, economic growth and job creation in this country.

The latest unemployment figure of 7.8% is the best we've seen since 2009. Despite nutty conservative conspiracy theories of Bureau of Labor Statistics data manipulation, the gains...

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