job interview Bruce R. Bennett/ZumaPress

¿Qué es el pleno empleo?

CAMBRIDGE – En un sentido importante, hoy en la economía estadounidense hay pleno empleo. El mercado laboral está relativamente ajustado, lo que provoca un aumento acelerado de los salarios, porque los empleadores deben pagar más para atraer y conservar empleados. Esto trae consecuencias importantes para las autoridades (y no sólo las de la Reserva Federal).

Basta pensar que la ganancia media por hora en mayo de este año fue 2,3% mayor que en idéntico período de 2014, pero en lo que va del año subió un 3,3%, y sólo en mayo aumentó a un ritmo del 3,8%: una clara señal de pleno empleo. La aceleración empezó en 2013, cuando el mercado laboral comenzó a ajustarse. La remuneración media por hora aumentó sólo 1,1% entre 2012 y 2013, pero 2,6% entre 2013 y 2014, y 3,3% en el primer trimestre de 2015.

Los aumentos salariales se trasladarán pronto a la inflación. Por ahora al vínculo entre ambas cosas lo contrarrestan el abaratamiento abrupto del petróleo y la gasolina respecto de un año atrás y el fortalecimiento del dólar respecto de otras monedas. Pero en cuanto el impacto de estos factores sobre el nivel general de precios disminuya, la inflación se acelerará.

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