Jul 14, 2018 - Economy

Corporate profits swell — but workers see no relief

Construction workers

Welders at work next to Boston's TD Garden. Photo: David L. Ryan/The Boston Globe via Getty Images

"Corporate profits have rarely swept up a bigger share of the nation’s wealth, and workers have rarely shared a smaller one," the N.Y. Times' Patricia Cohen writes.

Between the lines: "The lopsided split is especially pronounced given how low the official unemployment rate has sunk."

  • "Hourly earnings have moved forward at a crawl, with higher prices giving workers less buying power than they had last summer."
  • "Last-minute scheduling, no-poaching and noncompete clauses, and the use of independent contractors are popular tactics that put workers at a disadvantage."
  • "Threats to move operations overseas, where labor is cheaper, continue to loom."

Be smart: "For the first time in a long while, workers have some leverage to push for more."

  • "Throughout the recession and much of its aftermath, ... many Americans were grateful to receive a paycheck instead of a pink slip ... Now, complaints of labor shortages are as common as tweets."
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