Despite Economic Growth, Middle-Income Americans Have Less Than They Did 40 Years Ago

Thursday, June 2, 2016

"Over the past 40 years, the US economy has boomed. But what does that mean for the "American dream"? While the top 1% has had enormous gains, average US households aren't any better off today. In fact, they're falling further behind. We crunched numbers from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, adjusting them for inflation, and found that during the past 40 years, middle-income households have seen their income decrease 13 percent, and the number that really matters -- discretionary income -- has decreased even more, by almost 30 percent. This was true for all households, not just married households," writes Mark Paul, a research affiliate at the Samuel Dubois Cook Center on Social Equity.

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