Turns out the private sector is “doing fine” — its just not ending up in the pockets of private sector workers. Corporate profits are near an all-time high as a share of gross domestic product (so much for the regulation monster, as Dean Baker points out). And the share of the economy going to wages and salaries is near an all-time low. I’ve adjusted the axes so that the lines run alongside each other: wages (in blue) are keyed to the left axis; profits (in green) to the right axis. Use the year slider to view the change over any period–since 1970 is most instructive.
Data is from the Bureau of Economic Analysis, via FRED, the great data portal of the St. Louis Federal Reserve; FRED series Gross Domestic Product (GDP); Compensation of Employees: Wages & Salary Accruals (WASCUR); and Corporate Profits After Tax (CP)