U.S. incomes ‘fell more after than during recession’
US household incomes fell more in the two years following the end of the recession than during the downturn itself, according to a New York Times report published on its website.
A study by two former Census Bureau officials said inflation-adjusted income fell 6.7 percent, to $49,909, between June 2009 — when the recession ended — and June 2011, the newspaper said.
During the recession — from December 2007 to June 2009 — household incomes fell less than half of that, 3.2 percent, according to the report.
The bigger drop in the two years after the recession suggests why Americans feel a growing sense of anxiety about the nation’s economic prospects even as the economy has been growing since the recession ended.
The data was compiled by former Census officials Gordon W. Green Jr and John F. Coder, who described the cumulative drop in income since the start of the recession to this June as “a significant reduction in the American standard of living.”
A stumbling economy is the biggest barrier to President Barack Obama winning a second term in office, with unemployment stuck at 9.1 percent and faltering growth and a debt crisis in the eurozone fueling fears of a second recession.
The report follows an official Census Bureau study last month that showed the US poverty rate rose sharply in 2010 to 15.1 percent, the highest since 1993, from 14.3 percent a year earlier.
It was the fourth consecutive rise in the number of people below the poverty line, to 46.2 million.
The US definition of poverty is an annual income of $22,314 for a family of four, and $11,139 for a single person in 2010.