In Recovery, Business Will Profit at Workers' Expense

Short-term outlook 'great for business, terrible for households'
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 5, 2009 9:18 AM CDT
The average workweek in the US last month was 33.1 hour last month, up slightly from the record low of 33 hours in June.   (Shutter Stock)
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(Newser) – The economy is slowly improving, but companies will see the benefits long before the unemployed and underemployed will, Bloomberg reports. A Department of Labor report released yesterday found that the average workweek is at a near-record low of 33.1 hours.
The lack of uptick in part-time hours is an indicator that "payrolls aren’t turning positive any time soon,” a Deutsche Bank economist says.

With labor costs staying low, the economic growth expected in the near term will plump company profits, not family budgets. "It's disappointing and it tells us that we are not quite there yet,” one economist said of the report. The outlook in the months to come, he says, is "great for business and terrible for households.” An analyst at Adecco predicts that unemployment, which hit 9.7% last month, will rise to 10% before the economy starts adding jobs some time next year.