FacebookTwitterRedditEmail

Incomes Down; Poverty Up

and LAWRENCE MISHEL

The inflation-adjusted income of the median household was unchanged in 2004, remaining $1,700, or 3.8%, below its most recent peak in 1999, according to today’s release by the U.S. Bureau of the Census. The 2004 level of median income-$44,389-was slightly below 2003’s level, but the change was not statistically significant.

The main factor explaining this significant, ongoing decline in household income appears to be ongoing weakness in the job market, especially regarding real annual earnings, which fell significantly for both men (-2.3%) and women (-1.0%).

The real income of the typical household has fallen five years in a row, despite the fact that the last three of the those years, 2002, 2003, and 2004, have been years of economic expansion.

The number and share of persons in poverty also increased last year, from 12.5% to 12.7%, the fourth consecutive increase since poverty bottomed out at 11.3% in 2000, the end of the last expansion. Since that year, 5.4 million more persons, including 1.4 million children have been added to the poverty rolls.

The key factor behind the deterioration of real household income and poverty is the prolonged labor market slump that began in 2001. Although the job market expanded consistently in 2004-today’s release shows that addition of 1.5 million workers in 2004 over 2003-this addition was not faster than the growth of households and not enough to absorb the labor market slack left over from the longest jobless recovery on record.

The unbalanced nature of the economic recovery is also documented in today’s release. While the share of total national income flowing to the bottom 60% of household was essentially unchanged, the share going to the top 5% was up 0.4 percentage points, from 21.4% to 21.8%. As of 2004, the top fifth of household held 50.1% of all income, tied with 2001 for the highest share on record. Similarly, while the average real income of middle-income households fell $300-from $44,759 to $44,455-that of households in the top 5% grew by over $4,000, from $260,045 to $264,387.

JARED BERNSTEIN is a senior economist at the Economic Policy Institute and Lawrence Mishel is president of the Economic Policy Institute.

 

 

More articles by:
bernie-the-sandernistas-cover-344x550
July 15, 2019
David Altheide
The Fear Party
Roger Harris
UN High Commissioner on Human Rights Bachelet’s Gift to the US: Justifying Regime Change in Venezuela
John Feffer
Pyongyang on the Potomac
Vincent Kelley
Jeffrey Epstein and the Collapse of Europe
Robert Fisk
Trump’s Hissy-Fit Over Darroch Will Blow a Chill Wind Across Britain’s Embassies in the Middle East
Binoy Kampmark
Juggling with the Authoritarians: Donald Trump’s Diplomatic Fake Book
Dean Baker
The June Jobs Report and the State of the Economy
Michael Hudson – Bonnie Faulkner
De-Dollarizing the American Financial Empire
Kathy Kelly
Remnants of War
B. Nimri Aziz
The Power of Our Human Voice: From Marconi to Woods Hole
Elliot Sperber
Christianity Demands a Corpse 
Weekend Edition
July 12, 2019
Friday - Sunday
Paul Street
Skull of Death: Mass Media, Inauthentic Opposition, and Eco-Existential Reality in a Pre-Fascist Age of Appeasement
T.J. Coles
“Strategic Extremism”: How Republicans and Establishment Democrats Use Identity Politics to Divide and Rule
Rob Urie
Toward an Eco-Socialist Revolution
Gregory Elich
How Real is the Trump Administration’s New Flexibility with North Korea?
Jason Hirthler
The Journalists Do The Shouting
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: Pâté Politics in the Time of Trump and Pelosi
Andrew Levine
The Electoral Circus as the End of Its Initial Phase Looms
David Swanson
Earth Over the Brink
Ron Jacobs
Presidential Papers
Robert Hunziker
The Flawed Food Dependency
Dave Lindorff
Defeating the Trump Administration’s Racist, Republican-Rescuing Census Corruption
Martha Rosenberg
Pathologizing Kids, Pharma Style
Kathleen Wallace
Too Horrible to Understand, Too Horrible to Ignore
Ralph Nader
An Unsurpassable Sterling Record of Stamina!
Paul Tritschler
Restricted View: the British Legacy of Eugenics
John Feffer
Trump’s Bluster Diplomacy
Thomas Knapp
Did Jeffrey Epstein “Belong to Intelligence?”
Nicholas Buccola
Colin Kaepernick, Ted Cruz, Frederick Douglass and the Meaning of Patriotism
P. Sainath
It’s Raining Sand in Rayalaseema
Charles Davis
Donald Trump’s Fake Isolationism
Michael Lukas
Delisting Wolves and the Impending Wolf Slaughter
Evaggelos Vallianatos
Shaking Off Capitalism for Ecological Civilization
Julian Vigo
North America’s Opioid Addiction Problem and the Institutional Machinery Keeping It Alive
Russell Rickford
Lights of Liberty Vigil Remarks
Stansfield Smith
Bernie Sanders’ Present Fight against Corporate Rule vs. the Bernie of 1989
Steve Early
A Plant Closing War, Viewed From Inside
Jill Richardson
The Good News About Trump’s Very Bad Environmental Speech
John Kendall Hawkins
The Language of Languishing: One Kurd’s Journey Into Mythopoesis
Monika Zgustova
Russia and the Manipulation of the Past
Binoy Kampmark
Out of Kilter: National Security and Press Freedoms in Australia
Robert P. Alvarez
Return of the Poll Tax
David Macaray
A Hideous Ending
David Barsamian
The Slide to War with Iran: An Interview with Nader Hashemi
Graham Peebles
Breaking the Spiral of Hate and Intolerance
FacebookTwitterRedditEmail