Goldman Sachs Group Inc. set aside a record $11.4 billion for compensation and benefits in the first half of 2009, up 33 percent from a year earlier and enough to pay each worker $386,429 for the period.But here in downtown Charlotte, the banking center of the South, things aren't so rosy:
The figures were released today with the firm’s record second-quarter earnings results. Revenue jumped 31 percent to $23.19 billion in the first half and the New York-based firm set aside 49 percent to cover its largest expense, compensation and benefits.
Just as first-time claims for unemployment insurance surged in the sour economy, final payments – made when laid-off workers have exhausted their initial benefits and all extensions – are climbing, with Mecklenburg County numbers more than double from a year ago.I'm just lucky to have a job again.
Relief, in the form of new jobs, doesn't appear imminent, based on the latest labor statistics. The national unemployment rate rose to 9.5 percent in June, a 26-year high, with companies cutting 467,000 jobs – more than economists expected. Charlotte-area unemployment has outpaced the nation, reaching 12 percent in May. Economists expect both numbers to rise further before the end of the year.
Last month, the number of Mecklenburg County residents who ran out of unemployment benefits climbed to nearly 2,900 – the fourth straight month above 2,000 and more than double the number of people in June 2008, according to new data from the N.C. Employment Security Commission. Before the recession, the number of final payments in a single month never topped 2,000.
Still, I'm thinking of The Mouse That Roared for some reason.