Incomes Rise for Bottom 99% Even as Inequality Worsens

30 Jun 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

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Incomes for the bottom 99 percent of American families rose 3.3 percent last year to $47,213, the biggest annual gain in the past 15 years, according to data compiled by economist Emmanuel Saez and released Monday by the Washington Center for Equitable Growth. “For the bottom 99 percent of income earners, this marks the first year of real recovery from the income losses sparked by the Great Recession,” said Saez, a professor at the University of California-Berkeley, in a summary of his findings. REUTERS / Lucas JacksonMembers of the Occupy Wall St movement protest on 5th Avenue while marching through the upper east side of New York October 11, 2011. Hyundai Motor Co. said Monday that it believes hydrogen fuel cell vehicles are the future for eco-friendly cars despite challenges of limited infrastructure and slow sales. Kim Sae Hoon, general manager at Hyundai’s fuel cell engineering design team, said fuel cell cars represent a bigger opportunity than electric cars because competition is less fierce. Saez’s figures are compiled from IRS tax data, using pre-tax income that excludes government transfer payments, such as Social Security retirement income.

The nation has 3.3 million more jobs than before the recession and the overall economy is larger than it was in December 2007, when the downturn began. But other sources, such as the Congressional Budget Office, have included the impact of taxes and benefits and found wide, if less-pronounced, wealth gaps.

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