In this edition of Charts of the Week: increased support for raising the U.S. federal minimum wage; Delhi launches campaign to combat air pollution; global productivity on downward trend.
US SEES INCREASED SUPPORT FOR RAISING THE MINIMUM WAGE
Molly Kinder observes that even in a divided America, support for raising the minimum wage has increased. Since 2009, the federal minimum wage has remained at $7.25 an hour, she writes, but the COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated the need to raise the wages of frontline essential workers. The chart shows a surge in support for a higher minimum wage among Democrats, Republicans, and independents between February and August. Overall, more than 70 percent of respondents supported raising the minimum wage. “Even before COVID-19, most Americans agreed that low-wage workers deserved to earn wages that meet their basic needs,” Kinder writes. “As infections soar once again, raising the wages of essential workers who are risking their lives—and their families’ lives—has grown even more urgent.”
DELHI LAUNCHES CAMPAIGN IN FIGHT AGAINST AIR POLLUTION
Vinod Thomas and Chitranjali Tiwari provide analysis of Delhi, India, the world’s most polluted capital, and how the city plans to combat its air pollution. The chart indicates that Delhi has by far the most polluted air with particulate matter that far exceeds national and World Health Organization limits. “The Delhi administration launched an antipollution campaign,” they explain. “But to win, nothing short of sustained action on multiple fronts will suffice. … Even as technical solutions are within reach, the campaign must overcome the poor policy coordination among central, city, and local governments.”
GLOBAL PRODUCTIVITY GROWTH SLOWS AMID PANDEMIC
In an essay as part of the Reimagining the global economy: Building back better in a post-COVID-19 world collection, Alistair Dieppe and M. Ayhan Kose examine the global productivity slump that has continued amid the pandemic. The chart shows how productivity growth has been slowing down around the world since the 2007-2009 global financial crisis, affecting both advanced economies and emerging market and developing economies. “The COVID-19 pandemic could further reduce productivity growth and compound the adverse consequences stemming from the protracted slowdown in productivity,” they say. “A proactive and comprehensive policy approach is needed to improve prospects for productivity and overcome the challenges associated with COVID-19.”