Federal data released Wednesday shows that U.S. corporate profits jumped 25% to record highs in 2021 even as COVID-19 wreaked havoc on the nation’s economy, disrupting supply chains, hammering low-wage workers and helping to push inflation to levels not seen in decades.
According to the Commerce Department’s Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA), domestic corporate profits adjusted for inventory valuation and capital consumption reached $2.8 trillion last year, up from $2.2 trillion in 2020 — the largest increase since 1976.
Employee compensation also increased in 2021, just not at the pace of corporate profits. Citing the new BEA data, Bloomberg reported that “employee compensation rose 11%, but the so-called labor share of national income — essentially, the portion that’s paid out as wages and salaries — fell back to pre-pandemic levels.”
“CEOs can’t stop bragging on corporate earnings calls about jacking up prices on consumers to keep their profits soaring — and today’s annual profit data shows just how well their inflation strategy is working,” Owens said. “These megacorporations are cashing in and getting richer — and consumers are paying the price.”As Corporate Profits Soared to Record $2.8 Trillion, CEOs Bragged of Jacking Up Consumer Prices • Children’s Health Defense