Corporate Profits Hit A New Record High Last Year

CREDIT: Shutterstock

After-tax profits for American corporations hit another record high last year, rising to $1.68 trillion.

As this chart from Quartz shows, profits have been on a roll for some time, more than fully recovering what was lost during the recession:


CREDIT: Quarts

Corporate profits have also hit a record as a share of the country’s total income:

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CREDIT: Quartz

The profits have helped boost CEO pay: Among 50 public companies, they saw a 4.1 percent increase in pay at the median last year, netting $9.8 million at that mark. That’s after average CEO pay hit a record high in 2012.

But this wealth hasn’t trickled much further down. Despite the fact that workers have been increasing their productivity — helping to drive those corporate profits — they haven’t seen much of a reward. Wages are growing at the slowest rate since the 1960s, only just barely outpacing inflation. They have actually declined since 2007, and the trend extends back even further: American workers have experienced a “lost decade” of wage growth, as their pay stayed flat or declined between 2000 and 2012, despite a 25 percent bump in productivity. On the whole, corporate profits have grown 20 times faster than workers’ incomes since 2008.