Rising wages and employment costs (benefits, healthcare, etc.) are a direct input into the profitability equation. Therefore, as the economy slows and other cost-cutting measures, accounting gimmicks and share buybacks lose their ability to increase bottom line profitability, it is only a function of time before the focus returns to the cost of labor. With corporate profitability currently under pressure, overall economic activity weak and global conditions deteriorating, just how long can companies sustain employment and wage growth? The answer is not long.