US corporate profits rose to a new record last
year, as firms restrict hiring and build up cash rather than spend on
investments, almost five years since the economic recovery began in mid 2009.
Meanwhile, in 2013 real (inflation adjusted) average hourly earnings were flat
with a zero change.
After-tax corporate profits rose to $1.9tn in 2013, the Bureau of Economic
said Thursday. Corporate profits were at a record ratio of 11.1% of gross
The BEA said that corporate profits rose 4.6% at
an annual rate, compared with 7.0% in 2012. Profits of nonfinancial corporations
rose 5.2%, profits of financial corporations rose 8.2%, and profits from the
rest of the world fell 0.7%.
The 6% increase in corporate profits from the
same period a year earlier comfortably outpaced GDP growth of 4.1% before
adjusting for inflation.
Taxes on corporate income fell $15.9bn in 2013,
in contrast to an increase of $60.6bn in 2012.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics
reported last January that real average hourly earnings rose 0.2%,
seasonally adjusted, from December 2012 to December 2013. The increase in real
average hourly earnings, combined with a 0.3% decrease in the average workweek,
resulted in no net change in real average weekly earnings over this period.
Also on Thursday, CareerBuilder and
Economic Modeling Specialists Intl. said that temporary employment has
accelerated since the last recession, and new data shows that an upward
trajectory will continue throughout 2014. More than 2.9m US workers were
employed in temporary jobs in 2013,
jumping 28% since 2010 and outpacing the 5% growth rate for all
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