IT'S OFFICIAL: Surging Commodities Are Killing The labour Market

china oil

Photo: Newscom/Zuma

Caterpillar’s just released earnings were strong, but they confirm a trend reported by some others this season: higher commodity prices are being offset by squeezing more out of labour.Here’s the full paragraph from the announcement:

Manufacturing costs were up $219 million, primarily due to higher period costs related to increased volume and provisions for incentive pay.  Material, primarily higher steel prices, and freight costs were unfavorable compared with the first quarter of 2010.  Continued improvements in variable labour efficiencies partially offset these factors.

But hey, at least Caterpillar stock will rise on the beat-and-raise >

NOW WATCH: Money & Markets videos

Want to read a more in-depth view on the trends influencing Australian business and the global economy? BI / Research is designed to help executives and industry leaders understand the major challenges and opportunities for industry, technology, strategy and the economy in the future. Sign up for free at