As millions remain jobless in the US, companies have taken advantage of the economic crisis to extract more profits from the workforce. New Labor Department figures released yesterday showed hourly productivity rose at an annual rate of 2.9 percent. This is the highest rate in two years.
The continued slump provides conditions for corporations to extract more profits from the working class. A UBS Securities economist, Kevin Cummins, glibly forecasts, “There’s going to be continued downward pressure on labor costs given the high rate of unemployment.”
The job cuts by Citigroup and Canadian Pacific will only deepen the slump in the economy and add to pressure for austerity. The myth of the “slow recovery” being promoted by the Obama administration, is a cover for the real processes going on. Major corporations, sitting on cash hoards of trillions of dollars, refuse to hire and instead demand the slashing of wages and the dismantling of vital social programs.
Meanwhile, the only “recovery” is in profits and the stock market.
It's really amazing how the suffering of so many Americans has caused the cash registers to chime for corporate America. It's almost as though the outsourcing that began in the 90s wans't accidental, isn't it?
This is C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot:"