There has been some talk about the jobs, job reports, and the numbers used to count and report them, respectively. ( I wrote about them on September, 2012 and February, 2012. Nothing's changed since those earlier posts) A theme runs through these conversations. That theme is Where are the jobs?
I did a little searching and found 3 places where jobs are hiding.
* CORPORATE BALANCE SHEETS
Over $2 trillion in cash...cash...C-A-S-H...is held in corporate balance sheets.
Business Insider. Their title says it all. The $2 Trillion Corporate Cash Hoard is Only Getting Bigger.BC Capital Market's Myles Zyblock notes that because corporate profitability has been so high, corporations have been able to generate more than enough cash flow from operations to finance all of their capital expenditures.
"From a flows perspective, capital expenditures are being surpassed by internally generated cash flows at a quarterly annualized rate of ~$200 billion," writes Zyblock. "Thus, companies are still adding significantly to their $1.9 trillion cash mountain."
Wall Street Journal. Their title takes the conversation one step forward. Companies Shun Investment. Hoard Cash. (Apologies for this link, possibly. The first time I clicked on it, I saw the full post. Thereafter, I saw only an ad to subscribe. Maybe, WSJ is shunning word-of-mouth, hoarding cash.)
Companies are not investing in jobs, technology, innovation.
* RISING DISPARITY BETWEEN CEO PAY & EMPLOYEE PAY
A dozen CEOs saw double-digit increases in annual compensation. And Mayo A. Shattuck III, who retained his spot at the top of the list in his last year running the then-independent Constellation Energy Group, received a nearly $17.4 million package in 2011 — up from $15.7 million — as the Baltimore company turned in its second straight year of multimillion-dollar losses.
AFLCIO. I liked the title: Trends in CEO Pay. Neutral sounding.
The average CEO pay of companies in the S&P 500 Index rose to $12.94 million in 2011. Overall, the average level of CEO pay in the S&P 500 Index increased 13.9 percent in 2011, following a 22.8 percent increase in CEO pay in 2010.
Note: I thought if I included a link from the WSJ (to an article you have to pay for...) then I should include a link to a union site for an article that's free to read.
* DECLINING MEDIAN INCOME.
The income gap between the wealthiest 20 percent of American households and the rest of the country grew sharply in 2011, the Census Bureau reported, as an overwhelming majority of Americans saw no gains from a weak economic recovery in its second full year.
All households in the middle of the scale saw declines, while those at the very bottom stagnated.
Median income has been falling for TWELVE YEARS. Throughout that time, Americans have been getting poorer in real terms. By contrast, the US gross domestic product for 1999 was $8.7 trillion, while in 2011 it rose to $14.4 trillion. Workers did not see any of the benefits of the nearly $6 trillion in gains; in fact, they lost ground.
Note: That's why the markets are at or near all-time highs. That's why a crash is coming soon. Maybe, not a crash, but a great big correction. Why? declining median income means declining disposable income which means declining spending which means declining customers demanding a declining number of products and services.
Customers create jobs, creating sustainable growth rates for wealth. Hoarding wealth, rewarding only the CEO for creating the wealth that's hoarded, doing so at the expense of the real job creators in this country, us customers, is short-sighted.
But these are the places where jobs hide.
As I finished this post, I noticed the downward flow of economic benefits of our economy. They trickled-down on the homes and lives and health of those whose jobs the products and services measured in the Gross Domestic Product. This is the trickle-down economy, where:
tax breaks or other economic benefits provided by government to businesses and the wealthy will benefit poorer members of society by improving the economy as a whole. The term has been attributed to humorist Will Rogers, who said during the Great Depression that "money was all appropriated for the top in hopes that it would trickle down to the needy." The term is mostly used ironically or as pejorative.
Polite company, think-tanks and talk show hosts and paid spokesmen, refer to trickle-down economics with the Orwellian term of supply-side economics. Get it? There is no supply, it's all been hoarded. Those who were allowed to accumulate a bit more promised they would reward that trust...letting some of their accumulated wealth trickle-down on the rest of the economy. War is peace. Ignorance is strength. Hoarding is supply-siding. Hoarding creates jobs. Judging by the economy's widening gap separating the wealthiest from the rest of the country, I guess they're still in the process of hoarding.