Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Unit Labor Cost, PCI, PCE, and ObozoCare

We've all noticed the rapid increase in "unit labor cost," which tracks the (fully burdened) cost of labor per unit of production.  One possible cause of this is reduced production levels without a concomitant reduction in the labor force.


ObozoCare. a result of Obamacare, labor costs for corporations are already through the roof, and since every spare dollar allocated to SG&A is allotted to paying for Obama's "Affordable" Care Act, there is virtually nothing left over for wage growth. 

This explains both why CPI is rising (not enough) as it captures some (not all) of the soaring rent and OER costs in the economy, even as the PCE is sliding (for now). 

It also explains why while the US consumer is seemingly "deflating" (just ask anyone who buys food and rents if their cost of living is lower) US corporations have finally hit their profit maximization limits. In fact, as the following chart from Bloomberg shows, after peaking recently, corporate margins are slowly but surely sliding, ...

Note that the REALLY big ObozoCare-driven insurance hikes will occur in 2016.  You ain't seen nothin' yet.

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