How Has the Coronavirus Pandemic Impacted Big Business?

The coronavirus has been hard on everyone -- except most of America's most valuable publicly traded companies. According to analysis by The Washington Post, 45 of the top 50 U.S. firms have turned a profit since the pandemic began in 2020.

45 of America's 50 most valuable publicly traded companies have turned a profit since the coronavirus pandemic began.
45 of America's 50 most valuable publicly traded companies have turned a profit since the coronavirus pandemic began.

The Post found that a majority of the companies cut workers (collectively totaling more than 100,000 employees), and often bought their own stock in order to benefit shareholders and maintain consumer confidence. Meanwhile, unemployment benefits ran out for many people, bringing the largest increase in U.S. poverty in about 60 years, since such levels have been monitored.

According to Oxfam, the trend is the same around the world, with 32 of the largest companies seeing a collective $109 billion USD profit increase in 2020 over the previous year. Worldwide, the pandemic has pushed 500 million people into poverty, caused the loss of 400 million jobs, and threatened the existence of more than 400 million small businesses.

More coronavirus effects:

  • In April 2020, as spending declined sharply, the U.S. personal savings rate hit a record high of 34 percent.

  • Within four months of the pandemic's onset, one-fifth of households in 26 U.S. states were behind on rent payments.

  • The onset of the pandemic triggered the largest one-day drop in Dow Jones history: nearly 3,000 points on March 16, 2020.

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    • 45 of America's 50 most valuable publicly traded companies have turned a profit since the coronavirus pandemic began.
      45 of America's 50 most valuable publicly traded companies have turned a profit since the coronavirus pandemic began.