‘Recovery’ Swells Corporate Coffers, Stiffs Workers

The so-called recovery that began in 2009 has put huge profits in the hands of corporations but left millions of Americans jobless and those with jobs falling farther behind.

The New York Times cites a new study by economists at Northeastern University who found that since the so-called recovery began, “corporate profits captured 88 percent of the growth in real national income while aggregate wages and salaries accounted for only slightly more than 1 percent” of that growth.

During the ‘recovery’ period between the second quarter of 2009 and the fourth quarter of 2010, national income went up $528 billion dollars. Out of that increase, $464 billion went to pre-tax corporate profits and only $7 billion went to aggregate wages and salaries, after accounting for inflation.

“The lack of any net job growth in the current recovery combined with stagnant real hourly and weekly wages is responsible for this unique, devastating outcome,” wrote the report’s authors, Andrew Sum, Ishwar Khatiwada, Joseph McLaughlin and Sheila Palma. Worker’s share of national income is the lowest of any of the recessions in the last thirty years and is “unprecedented” according the study.

“Aggregate employment still has not increased above the trough quarter of 2009, and real hourly and weekly wages have been flat to modestly negative,” the report concludes. “The only major beneficiaries of the recovery have been corporate profits and the stock market and its shareholders.”

Click here to for the study, The ‘Jobless and Wageless Recovery’ From the Great Recession of 2007-2009.