WHAT: With unemployment stuck at 9.2 percent, wages accounted for just 1 percent of economic growth in the 18 months since economists declared the recession over in June 2009. Meanwhile, corporate profits were a record-breaking 88 percent of economic growth.
WHY: U.S. corporations are expanding overseas, not so much here. Back home, companies are squeezing more productivity out of staffs thinned out by layoffs. They don’t need to hire or be lavish with pay raises; employees have nowhere else to go.
STALEMATE: Companies are reluctant to spend their $1.9 trillion in cash holdings until they see consumers spending again. But consumers are still paying down their debts and won’t spend freely until they feel comfortable with their paychecks and secure in their jobs.