by the numbers
By Peronet Despeignes

(FORTUNE Magazine) – Not only did economic growth downshift to its slowest pace in two years during the first quarter, but everything from retail sales to orders for durable goods were also weak. That has some wondering if the expansion--currently in its 41st month--is coming to an end. Should that happen, this boom could be over before most workers even experience it. While productivity and profits have surged over the past four years, most workers have enjoyed a wage gain of roughly zippo after inflation. And wages and salaries have shrunk as a share of national income. Meanwhile, job growth has never been this weak this far into any expansion since World War II. -- Peronet Despeignes