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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.

Tim Scott hopes to reintroduce version of GOP police reform bill

Photo: Stefani Reynolds/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.) told reporters Wednesday he plans to reintroduce his police reform bill or a similar proposal in the coming weeks and that he has discussed a potential compromise with Rep. Karen Bass (D-Calif.) and Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.).

Why it matters: Eyes have again turned to Washington to take steps to address police reform in the wake of Derek Chauvin's guilty verdict Tuesday, after efforts stalled in Congress last year.

Biden announces small business tax credits for vaccine PTO

Photo: Doug Mills/The New York Times/Bloomberg via Getty Images

President Biden on Wednesday called on all employers to provide workers paid time off to get vaccinated or recover from COVID side effects, and said he'll include a paid tax credit for small businesses that do so.

Why it matters: The Biden administration sees workplaces as highly influential in making shots more convenient for working adults who are in high-risk industries.

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