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Drone shows cars lining up at Share Your Christmas food distribution event in Kissimmee, Fla. Photo: Paul Hennessy/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

2020 has been an awesome year for Corporate America, but not so much for Working America.

The big picture: 45 of America’s 50 biggest publicly traded companies have turned profits since March, while nearly 8 million Americans have fallen into poverty since June, the WashPost reports in a pair of striking stories.

  • "At least 27 of the 50 largest firms held layoffs this year, collectively cutting more than 100,000 workers," according to a WashPost analysis.
  • “[T]he increase in poverty this year ... is the biggest jump in a single year since the government began tracking poverty 60 years ago. It is nearly double the next-largest rise, which occurred in 1979-1980 during the oil crisis,” reports WashPost's Heather Long.

That gap extends to CEOs versus regular consumers, Axios' Dion Rabouin reported earlier this week.

  • CEO confidence in Q3 was 48% higher than at the beginning of 2019.
  • Consumer confidence was 16% lower than in January 2019.

Between the lines: The expiration of enhanced unemployment benefits played a big part in the poverty spike, economists told The Post.

The bottom line: “These are times when the strong can get stronger,” Nike CEO John Donahoe said in September.

Go deeper

José Andrés: Restaurant industry survival is key for economic recovery

Photo: Axios screenshot

José Andrés, the founder of World Central Kitchen and celebrated chef, said during an Axios event that survival of restaurants is a crucial part of the U.S. economic recovery as the coronavirus pandemic continues to ravage the industry.

Why it matters: The hospitality industry has faced an existential crisis since the beginning of the pandemic. "With new rounds of state-mandated restaurant and bar restrictions, and winter weather limiting outdoor dining, food services accounted for 372,000 job losses in December," the Washington Post writes.

Biden says Russia likely to invade Ukraine

President Biden addressed the brewing conflict between Russia and Ukraine during a press briefing Wednesday, saying of Russian President Vladimir Putin, "my guess is he will move in."

Why it matters: U.S. officials have issued a series of warnings about Russia's threatening military buildup on the border with Ukraine, with Secretary of State Antony Blinken saying in Kyiv earlier Wednesday that Russia could invade "on very short notice."

Biden challenges GOP agenda: "What are Republicans for?"

President Biden pushed back against Republican efforts to obstruct his agenda during a press conference Wednesday, asking "What are Republicans for?"

Why it matters: Biden's speech comes as he approaches one year in office, facing low polling numbers and a stalled agenda.

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