rose 9% in 2012, nearing former record highs, at the same time that pay for U.S. workers continues to stagnate. Up until the 1970s, worker compensation and productivity rose simultaneously, rewarding workers for gains in productivity. However, since 1978, worker compensation has flatlined while productivity has increased markedly. The benefits of greater productivity have gone almost exclusively to shareholders and corporate executives and not to the employees driving the gains. "Companies are on a tear in terms of productivity and profits, but they aren't sharing much of the gains with their workers. . . . Productivity, which measures the goods and services generated per hour worked, rose by 80.4% between 1973 and 2011, compared to a 10.7% growth in median hourly compensation . . . ."
With unemployment still hampering many American workers, bonus pay on Wall Street is projected to rise another 8% in 2013. Despite the increase in compensation, Wall Street banks continue to slash jobs to cut costs and spur profits. Meanwhile, "[e]mployers are achieving their gains with fewer workers . U.S.
economic activity is now 2.5% higher than it was when the recession
began in late 2007, but there are more than 3 million fewer workers on
the job, said Mark Perry, a scholar at the conservative American
Enterprise Institute." To that end, Wall Street continues its tone deaf march intent on enriching its executives at the expense of its employees and the United States economy.