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Thursday, September 13, 2012

'U.S. Income Gap Rose'

This probably won't be a surprise:

U.S. Income Gap Rose, Sign of Uneven Recovery, by Sabrina Tavernise, NY Times: The income gap between the wealthiest 20 percent of American households and the rest of the country grew sharply in 2011, the Census Bureau reported, as an overwhelming majority of Americans saw no gains from a weak economic recovery in its second full year.
Income for the top fifth of American households rose by 1.6 percent last year, driven by even larger increases for the top 5 percent of households... All households in the middle of the scale saw declines, while those at the very bottom stagnated.
“You’re really struck by the unevenness of the recovery,” said Lawrence Katz, an economics professor at Harvard. “The top end took a whack in the recession, but they’ve gotten back on their feet. Everyone else is still down for the count.”
The numbers helped drive an overall decline in income for the typical American family. Median household income after inflation fell to $50,054, a level that was 8 percent lower than in 2007, the year before the recession took hold. ...
The Census Bureau reported that a standard measure of income inequality, the Gini index, registered the first year-on-year increase since 1993, a surprise for economists who say the measure, which has been rising for some time, usually changes so slowly that a statistically significant rise over the course of one calendar year is rare. ...
Inflation-adjusted median household income fell by 1.5 percent in 2011. During the recovery, about 3 in 5 of the new jobs created have been low-skill and low-wage — taking people off the unemployment rolls and pulling some families out of poverty, but not providing a clear route to the middle class. ...

    Posted by on Thursday, September 13, 2012 at 12:29 AM in Economics, Income Distribution | Permalink  Comments (40)


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