Yesterday the New York Times had an article titled “Recession Officially Over, U.S. Incomes Kept Falling.” It discusses trends in real median family income over the last few years.
While the entire article is worthwhile, here are a few excerpts I found most notable:
In a grim sign of the enduring nature of the economic slump, household income declined more in the two years after the recession ended than it did during the recession itself, new research has found.
Between June 2009, when the recession officially ended, and June 2011, inflation-adjusted median household income fell 6.7 percent, to $49,909, according to a study by two former Census Bureau officials. During the recession — from December 2007 to June 2009 — household income fell 3.2 percent.
The full 9.8 percent drop in income from the start of the recession to this June — the most recent month in the study — appears to be the largest in several decades, according to other Census Bureau data. Gordon W. Green Jr., who wrote the report with John F. Coder, called the decline “a significant reduction in the American standard of living.”
One reason pay has stagnated is that many people who lost their jobs in the recession — and remained out of work for months — have taken pay cuts in order to be hired again. In a separate study, Henry S. Farber, an economics professor at Princeton, found that people who lost jobs in the recession and later found work again made an average of 17.5 percent less than they had in their old jobs.
“As a labor economist, I do not think the recession has ended,” Mr. Farber said. “Job losers are having more trouble than ever before finding full-time jobs.”
The Special Note summarizes my overall thoughts about our economic situation
SPX at 1194.89 as this post is written