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Sliding Corporate Profits Are a Darkening Cloud for U.S. Workers

  • Companies may tighten belts as wages further erode margins
  • Weaker job market would slow household spending and growth

Corporate profitability is casting a shadow on the brightest aspect of the U.S. economy -- the labor market.

Profits have fallen for five straight quarters, the longest skid since the last recession, according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis. While early results from the current earnings season indicate the string could be snapped, Corporate America is facing an uphill battle to make money and may soon become more aggressive in its cost-cutting amid sluggish demand and scant pricing power.