Corporations Grow Profits by Doing More with Less [Employees]

Corporate profit shows strong growth. Clearly the recovery is taking hold in business. But don't expect any quick hiring spree by corporations - not now, perhaps not ever.

The corporate profit, reports Scott Thurm and Joe Light in The Wall Street Journal, came as "the result of aggressively re-tooling their [corporation's] operations to cope with lower revenue and an uncertain outlook." That re-tooling was learning to do more with less. The less included lots less manpower, at least the traditional full-time kind with benefits. In its place, corporations have maintained a just-in-time workforce of temporary employees.

Those of you who have adjusted to contract work as well as perhaps operating a small business will likely thrive as the recovery continues to pick up steam. However, the outlook seems grim for the professional hoping for a return to the way things were in the 20th century. The latter group might read Dan Pink's 2001 book Free Agent Nation. Pink published that nine years ago. And even back then, Pink pointed out:

"The largest private employer is the U.S. is not Detroit's General Motors or Ford, or even Seattle's Microsoft or, but Milwaukee's Manpower Inc., a temp agency with more than a1,100 offices in the U.S."

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