The Middle Class is Still Hurting

09.12.12 7:30 PM ET

The Financial Times reports that middle class wages fell to a 17 year low, poverty remained relatively stable, and the number of uninsured fell slightly over the course of the last year. Depressing stuff, really.

According to annual data from the Census Bureau, median income adjusted for inflation – a closely watched measure of the financial health of average Americans – fell to $50,054 in 2011, or 1.5 per cent below its 2010 level and 4.1 per cent below its score when Mr Obama took office in 2009.


[W]hile the data on income will have been discouraging for Mr Obama, other elements of the report were more upbeat. For instance, the poverty rate dropped slightly, from 15.1 per cent to 15 per cent, as fewer middle-class Americans struggled so much that they had slid under the poverty threshold of about $23,000 in annual income for a family of four.

Also, the Census Bureau said that the number of people without health insurance cover declined from 50m in 2010 to 48.6m in 2011, along with the percentage of people lacking coverage, which fell from 16.3 per cent in 2010 to 15.7 per cent in 2011.