Household Incomes Fall Most In At Least 40 Years; Worst Yet To Come

Discussion in 'Economics' started by ByLoSellHi, Sep 11, 2009.

  1. People who might not have previously asked for help are now turning to such programs as food stamps. New York City has seen a 40% surge in food-stamp recipients who aren't receiving other kinds of aid, an indication many low-income workers are reaching out for aid, said Robert Doar, commissioner of the city's Human Resources Administration. About 906,000 New Yorkers are receiving food stamps but aren't receiving cash welfare or disability benefits. (Overall, the city's food-stamp roll has increased 22% to about 1.6 million people.)

    According to the Census, about 54 million people were living under 125% of the poverty line
    , about three million more than in 2007. The number of "deep poor" -- people whose earnings put them at less than half the poverty line -- increased by 1.5 million to 17 million people.

    "There's a lot of pain for the average family," said Bruce Meyer, an economist at the University of Chicago. "It's pretty striking how fast and how far the incomes of the typical family have fallen. The decline is bigger than anything we've seen in the past, and things are almost certainly going to get worse."

    Indeed, the report captured only how Americans fared in the first year of the recession, which began in December 2007. Figures for 2009 are expected to show a darker portrait, as the economy has continued to deteriorate.