US household income falls as 46 million in poverty

There were 46.2 million Americans in poverty in 2011, as median household income decreased, according to a Census Bureau report released Wednesday illustrating the toll from ongoing labor-market weakness.

 

Real median household income decreased 1.5% to $50,054 in 2011, and a measure of income inequality increased on an annual basis for the first time since 1993, Census reported.

 

The ranks of America’s poor remained stuck at record levels, although dwindling unemployment benefits and modest job gains helped stave off what experts had predicted would be the fourth rise in a row in the poverty rate.

 

With joblessness persistently high, the gap between rich and poor increased in the last year, according to two major census measures.

 

The West experienced the sharpest decline in real median household income — down 4.1% — between 2010 and 2011 compared with the other regions. MarketWatch

 

FACTS & FIGURES
 

 

The wealth gap between the richest Americans and the typical family more than doubled over the past 50 years, according to a new report by the left-leaning Economic Policy Institute.

 

In 1962, the top 1% had 125 times the net worth of the median household. That shot up to 288 times by 2010.

 

Most Americans below the upper echelon have suffered a decline in wealth in recent decades. The median household saw its net worth drop to $57,000 in 2010, down from $73,000 in 1983. It would have been $119,000 had wealth grown equally across households. CBC

 

Job growth slowed sharply in August, the government reported Friday – bad news for President Barack Obama and a data point that might spur the Federal Reserve to take aggressive action to help the faltering U.S. economy. MarketWatch

 

The nation’s unemployment rate fell to a seasonally adjusted 8.1%, down from 8.3% in July, but that was because so many Americans gave up the hunt for work. MarketWatch

 

The outlook on the U.S. unemployment situation is gloomy. Nearly 13 million Americans remain unemployed and of the 8.8 million jobs lost during the Great Recession, only about 4 million have been added back. CNNMoney

 

American workers today face profound challenges that range from stubbornly high unemployment and bad bosses, to the lousy summer jobs for youths. Perhaps the biggest problem facing today’s workers is that there’s not enough work. Detroit Free Press

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