In his State of the Union address last week, President Barack Obama cheered rising wages. What he didn’t mention is that much of the income gained since the recession has gone into the pockets of the richest Americans.
In 39 U.S. states, the top 1 percent of earners gobbled up at least half of all of the income gains between 2009 and 2012. And in 17 of those states, the top earners got every bit of the income growth in those years. That’s according to a new paper released Monday by the Economic Policy Institute, a think tank focused on labor issues.
In all states, the rebound in income in the three years after the recession pretty much all went to the richest of the rich, the EPI found.
“Over this period, the average income of the bottom 99 percent in the United States actually fell (by 0.4 percent),” the paper states. “In contrast, the average income of the top 1 percent climbed 36.8 percent.” (Source: Read more)