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Economic Recovery Favors the Rich - 10/1/15

Economists continue to pour through recently released income data from the U.S. Census Data.  As indicated by Bloomberg Business, these data make it clear that the richest Americans are winning the economic recovery.  If one looks at eight groups of household income selected by the Census, only those whose incomes were already high to begin with have experienced improvement since two thousand and six, the last full year of expansion prior to the recession. 

While the incomes of households at the ninetieth and ninety-fifth percentiles were higher in twenty fourteen than in two thousand and six after adjusting for inflation, income for all other groups remained below two thousand and six levels.  No one has sustained more damage proportionately than households at the fortieth, fiftieth and sixtieth percentile levels, literally America’s middle class. 

What’s truly remarkable is that income gains remain so slight despite the ongoing improvement in the labor market.  The number of men working full time and year round in twenty fourteen increased by one point two million from a year earlier while the number of women working on those bases increased by one point six million.

Anirban Basu, Chariman Chief Executive Officer of Sage Policy Group (SPG), is one of the Mid-Atlantic region's leading economic consultants. Prior to founding SPG he was Chairman and CEO of Optimal Solutions Group, a company he co-founded and which continues to operate. Anirban has also served as Director of Applied Economics and Senior Economist for RESI, where he used his extensive knowledge of the Mid-Atlantic region to support numerous clients in their strategic decision-making processes. Clients have included the Maryland Department of Transportation, St. Paul Companies, Baltimore Symphony Orchestra Players Committee and the Martin O'Malley mayoral campaign.