Something's Wrong With This Picture: Corporations Have Most Profitable Quarter in U.S. History as Unemployment Soars

According to a new report (PDF) from the Bureau of Economic Analysis, U.S. corporate profits are at an all-time high, despite the turbulent economy. At the same time, the real unemployment rate remains astronomically high, affecting some 1 in 5 Americans.

Reports Raw Story:

America's poor and middle classes are under siege, with a mostly stagnant job market that has shown only marginal signs of improvement.

Yet for seven fiscal quarters running -- since President Obama's election -- American corporate profits have shown strong growth.

According to a New York Times analysis, Q3 2010 saw the largest corporate profits in recorded US history, at $1.66 trillion.

The government releases a few different unemployment rates. The official rate stands at about 9%, while the so-called "real" unemployment rate, which includes underemployed Americans, is an astounding 17.5%. Even worse, experts have found that as many as 22% of the nation's households have at least one member looking for full-time employment.

So basically, it's the same old story: the rich are getting richer while the poor are getting poorer. Indeed, a July Center on Budget and Policy Priorities report (PDF) found that the income disparity between rich and poor in America is at its widest in over 80 years.

The top 1 percent of households in the US have seen a 281 percent rise in after-tax income since 1979, the center found. Meanwhile, the bottom fifth of American earners have seen only a 16 percent increase since 1979: a percentage which doesn't account for value lost due to inflation.

According to inflation calculations by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, it would take $75,313.71 of today's money to match the buying power of just $25,000 in 1979.

AlterNet / By Lauren Kelley

Posted at November 24, 2010, 2:15am

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