Profits rise amid downturn

Posted on 14/12/2009  
Amid the worst global slump since the Great Depression, the profits of Australian businesses reached record highs in FY2009 - while wages fell to near-record lows. Corporate profits, which have been on a roll all through this decade, kept rolling through the downturn, climbing from 27.4% of national income to a record 27.7%. Wages took the brunt of the slowdown, falling from 54.3% of the cake to 54% as unemployment grew by 200,000 and hundreds of thousands of workers took cuts in paid hours to keep their jobs. Much of the profit growth over the decade has been in finance and mining - by contrast, manufacturing has been the biggest victim, with its output falling to a seven-year low.

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