U.S. Households: Better Off in Recession?

By FOXBusiness

A recently-released survey shows that in the last two years proceeding the recession, overall income and real median household income fell significantly.

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A report from Sentier Research called "Household Income Trends During the Recession and Economic Recovery," released on Monday shows that since the economic recovery began in June 2009, real median household income fell more during that period through June 2011 than it did during the recession from December 2007 to June 2009.

The report found that during the recession, income fell 3.2% to $53,518 from $55,390. During the June 2009-June 2011 recovery period, income fell 6.7% to $49,909 from $53,518. This loss of nearly 10% represents a major decline in the standard of American living, the report stated.

Homes with a head of household under 25 took a hit with a real median annual income drop of 9.5% to $29.060 during the recovery years, followed by homes with a black head of house, with a 9.4% decline to $31,784. Single-family homes saw their real median annual household income fall by 7.3% to $36,465 during the two-year period.

Homes hit hardest were those with a head looking for work or laid off, whose income declined by 18.4% to $33,487. This compares to the decline seen by homes with a head working full-time, which saw a decrease of 5.1% to $68,454 for real median annual incomes.

The estimates in the report are based on the Current Population Survey that provides monthly official estimates of the unemployment rate. Household income is defined as the sum of the incomes of all household members and income refers to all sources of money income including earnings from work, Social Security, interest, dividends, cash welfare, retirement pensions, unemployment compensation, veterans’ benefits, etc.  Income excludes capital gains and losses, and lump-sum payments. Household income is measured before federal and state income taxes and payroll taxes, the report said.

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