Profit, sales and hiring last year by companies in the Standard & Poor's 500 index exceeded data for 2007, before U.S. businesses were hit with the financial crisis and the most serious recession since World War II, according to an analysis by The Wall Street Journal. However, such strong financial performance hasn't significantly affected the unemployment rate because many of the 1.1 million jobs the companies created since 2007 are outside the U.S.

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