A record 821,000 jobs were cut last year from Fortune 500 companies as overall profit in this group grew more than three times to $391 billion, according to Fortune magazine.
Overall, demand for U.S. products was weak as Fortune 500 companies' 2009 sales dropped 8.7% from the previous year, prompting many of these firms to slash their payrolls. The fall in sales levels was the biggest decline since 1983.
But some sectors fared better than others. The financial sector rebounded as Bank of America Corp. (NYSE: BAC) and J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. (NYSE: JPM), which fell out of the Fortune's Top 10 list in 2008, because of the near collapse of the banking system, resurfaced into the top 10 of the Fortune list.
On Wednesday, April 14, J.P. Morgan Chase reported a first-quarter net income of $3.3 billion, or 74 cents a share, compared to net income of $2.1 billion, or 40 cents a share, in the year-ago period. Analysts had expected a profit of 64 cents a share on $26.47 billion in revenue.