(NEW YORK) -- While Wall Street was celebrating good news about corporate profits this week, millions of Americans will sit down at Thanksgiving Dinner tables the same way they did last year -- without jobs.
Unemployment remains stuck at a stubborn nine percent, but corporate profits broke records in the third quarter of this year, surpassing $1.6 trillion. That's the highest profit level ever, not adjusted for inflation.
With the whiff of mega-million dollar bonuses in the autumn air, some top executives are celebrating lavishly, just as they did before the recession. Expensive restaurants are pulling in crowds again, and Sotheby's auction house says bids for its expensive paintings and wares are "pouring in."
Then there's Fred Clark, who was laid off from his job as a logistics manager for United Technologies a few days after Thanksgiving 2008. He had worked at the company for 19 years. Two years later, he's still unemployed.
"I hope to get a job" in 2011, Clark said. "I have to believe that."
But for Clark and millions of other out-of-work Americans, it's hard to stay optimistic. Though the government says the recession is officially over, long-term joblessness remains high and income disparity, what the richest Americans make compared to everyone else, is as great as it has ever been.
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