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

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[credit provider=”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 >