The Labor Department released the March jobs report and the results were good: 216,000 non-farm jobs were added in the economy and the unemployment rate dropped to 8.8 percent. Since November 2010, the rate has dropped a full percentage point.
The trend is moving in the right direction, as the total number of unemployed persons dropped to 13.5 million from 13.7 million in February and for the first quarter of the year, the US economy created an average of 159,000 a month. The economy needs to create about 125,000 jobs a month just to keep pace with new entrants to the work force, so it’s important that we string together a bunch of these +200,000 jobs a month to really put a dent in the unemployment rate.
While I am pleased about the positive developments, another trend is reasserting itself in the American economy: pay disparity. It never really went away, but the Great Recession inflicted pain across the board. In 2010, one group is back with a vengeance: CEOs.
USA TODAY conducted an analysis of data from GovernanceMetrics International and found median CEO pay at 158 S&P 500 companies jumped 27 percent in 2010, while the rest of us working schlubbs in private industry saw compensation grow just 2.1 percent in the 12 months ended December 2010, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Median CEO pay in 2010 was $9 million, just shy of the record-setting $9.2 million in 2007 and up from from $7.1 million in 2009. Many CEOs and their enabling boards, claim that they are due this pay hike because the captains of these companies boosted the price of the stock. Of course they were the very same folks who were watching the store when the stocks plunged, but that’s a mere detail, right?