August 23, 2012; Source: Washington Post
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I guess we could all be grateful that the recession “ended” when it did, but celebrating might be hard for some because household income has actually declined more in the three years since the end of the recession than it did during it. A report by Sentier Research, which made use of data from the U.S. Census Bureau’s Current Population Survey, has found that inflation-adjusted median household income dropped by 4.8 percent to $50,964 between June 2009 and June 2012. The dip in household income during the recession itself only amounted to a 2.6 percent decline.
Median household income, found the study, is 7.2 percent below what it was in December of 2007 and 8.1 percent below the $55,470 that it was in January of 2000. These findings seem to correspond with another study released this week, this one from the Pew Research Center, which describes a “lost decade” for the American middle class; since 2000, Pew reports, “the middle class has shrunk in size [and] fallen backward in income and wealth.” Just in case you were wondering why fundraising still seems so hard and demand for services still feels high… –Ruth McCambridge