Feeling poor and like your paycheck isn’t stretching as far as it used to?† You’re not alone.† According to a new report from the U.S. Census Bureau, household income has fallen almost 10 percent since the recession began in December of 2007.† And even worse, the decline became twice as great in the two years following the recession than it was during the recession itself.
So how does that happen?
According to Politico, both decreases in income were “highly correlated with high levels of unemployment, increases in the duration of unemployment and the large number of persons who have experienced ‘employment hardship.’”
Of course, recession doesn’t actually relate to unemployment, although the two tend to go hand in hand, but to the growth of the economy in the country.† Two down quarters in a row mark a recession, and one up quarter marks “the end” regardless of the state of employment, pay or other factors that actually have an impact on people versus economic indicators.
As long as the economy is growing — or officially no longer shrinking — there’s no real incentive for businesses to increase pay, bring back cost of living increases, add overtime or even stop laying off workers.† And for those workers they do hire back, a lower initial wage can and is being offered.† Workers are supposed to feel so grateful to have a job that any money is enough, something corporations, looking to expand their profit margins, are relying on.
It’s no wonder that the drop in income has been the most drastic in households of families led either by adults under the age of 25 or African American heads of house.† Those two groups have had the largest percentage of unemployment, and are the most likely because of it to take anything offered, having no resources to hold out for something better or higher paying.
As long as job insecurity goes hand in hand with corporate greed, it doesn’t matter if the economy is in a recession or a boom.† Either way, household incomes will continue to suffer.
Photo credit: revisorweb