WASHINGTON, DC – A new report put out by the Pew Research Center finds that the median income is worse now than it was during the Great Recession.
According to Pew, the Census Bureau showed that the median income for American households in 2009 – the official end of the Great Recession – was $52,195 (in 2011 dollars), while the median income dipped to $50,054 last year, falling 4.1 percent over two years.
“The decrease in household income from 2009 to 2011 almost exactly equaled the decrease in income in the two years of the recession,” the Pew report stated. “During the Great Recession, the median U.S. household income (in 2011 dollars) dropped from $54,489 in 2007 to $52,195 in 2009, a loss of 4.2 percent. By this yardstick, the recovery from the Great Recession is bypassing the nation’s households.”
The Pew report added that the recovery is the “most negative for household income during any post-recession period in the past four decades,” which means that the median household income has not risen above a previous peak over the past 12 years.
The poverty rate rose from 12.5 percent in 2007 to 15 percent last year as the median household wealth fell by 39 percent over a three-year span, from $131,016 in 2007 to $79,431 in 2010.
“[T]he economic health of American families deteriorated further in the first two years of the recovery from the Great Recession,” the Pew report explains. “Much like an unwelcome dinner guest who does not know when it is time to leave, the Great Recession seems blissfully unaware that it was declared over in June 2009.”
In an effort to stimulate the economy. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke outlined plans last week to spend $40 billion a month to buy mortgage bonds and keep short-term interest rates at record lows through mid-2015.