Washington — Worker pay in rich countries has stagnated as employers shift to part-time and temporary labour while unions declined, helping generate persistently weak inflation, according to new IMF research released on Wednesday. The findings go to the centre of the debate in key central banks over how fast to remove the stimulus put in place amid the Great Recession, since low unemployment rates have not led to higher inflation as in a normal economic recovery. "Recent labour market developments in advanced economies point to a possible disconnect between unemployment and wages," the International Monetary Fund economists found in their report. Crunching data from across 29 advanced economies between 2000 and 2016, the IMF study found median unemployment rates fell steadily since 2013 even as labour force participation rates increased. But that decline in joblessness may represent only a kind of "surface healing", the authors said. The jobs recovery since the 2008 crash appeared t...

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