Household Income Left Behind In Recovery

Rakesh Kochar, writing for the Pew Research Center, examined household income during the recent recession and recovery.  From 2007 to 2009, the median household income fell 4.2%, and while the economy began to turn around and businesses started to rebuild, incomes continued to drop.  From 2009 to 2011, as the U.S. embarked on a sluggish recovery, the median income failed to improve.  In fact, the median household income fell almost as much (4.1%) during the recovery years as during the recession.  After a 5.7% decrease in household income due to the 1973 recession, incomes salvaged a 2.3% increase in the following 2 year recovery period.  The 1980 to 1982 recession drove incomes down 5.0%, but in the subsequent two-year recovery, incomes rebounded with a 2.4% improvement.  This prolonged period of income losses reflects a greater trend from the past decade.  The highest median household income was $54,932 in 1999, and since then, that level has only been approached in 2007, when incomes were $54,489.  

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