UNDERNEWS

Undernews is the online report of the Progressive Review, edited by Sam Smith, who has covered Washington during all or part of one quarter of America's presidencies and edited alternative journals since 1964. The Review has been on the web since 1995. See main page for full contents

February 1, 2009

INDICATORS: ECONOMY

2009

As late as 1976, the richest 1 percent of the country took home about 9 percent of the total national income. By 2006, they were pocketing more than 20 percent. Top 1% share of total income: 24% in the 1930s, 8% in the 1960s

2008 loss of jobs was the greatest since the end of World War II

2008

Number of manufacturing jobs lost since 2000: 3.78 million

Increase in number of unemployed workers from 2001 to 2008: 4 million

2009 unemployment level highest since 1992.

Decline in median household income 2000-2007: $1571

Minimum wage as a percent of average wage: down from the 1950s

Real wage of average worker: lowest since 1973

Top 1% share of the wealth: 39%, up from 29% in the 1970s, 36% in the 1930s

CEO pay as a percent of average worker's pay: 300 times, up from 24 times in the 1960s

Foreign debt as a percent of GDP: Up five times 1980s to present.

Older families with pensions: down over 50% since 1970s

Workers with defined benefit pensions: down by two thirds since 1970s

Savings rate: negative for first time since depression

Median rent: up one third in last decade

New home building: lowest since 1991

Child poverty rate: up since 1970s

Black, latino, senior poverty rate: down since 1970s

Number of women owned businesses: up over 50% in decade

Number of MBAs issues: up over three times since 1970s

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