In recovery inequality sharpens: top 1% increases income while bottom 99% lowers income

June 5, 2015

"From 2009 to 2011, average real income per family grew modestly by 1.7% (Table 1) but the gains were very uneven. Top 1% incomes grew by 11.2% while bottom 99% incomes shrunk by 0.4%. Hence, the top 1%
captured 121% of the income gains in the first two years of the recovery. From 2009 to 2010, top 1% grew fast and then stagnated from 2010 to 2011. Bottom 99% stagnated both from 2009 to 2010 and from 2010 to 2011. In 2012, top 1% income will likely surge, due to booming stock-prices, as well as re-timing of income to avoid the higher 2013 top tax rates. Bottom 99% will likely grow much more modestly than top 1% incomes from 2011 to 2012"

 

"Interestingly, the income composition pattern at the very top has changed considerably over the century. The share of wage and salary income has increased sharply from the 1920s to the present, and especially since the 1970s. Therefore, a significant fraction of the surge in top incomes since 1970 is due to an explosion of top wages and salaries. Indeed, estimates based purely on wages and salaries show that the share of total wages and salaries earned by the top 1 percent wage income earners has jumped from 5.1 percent in 1970 to 12.4 percent in 2007."

 

FIGURES AND STATS
Please consult link ( http://elsa.berkeley.edu/~saez/saez-UStopincomes-2011.pdf ) to view graphs and figures on issues such as "Real Income Growth by Groups", "The Top Decile Income Share, 1917-2011", "Decomposing the Top Decile US Income Share into 3 Groups, 1913-2011", "The Top 0.01% Income Share, 1913-2011"

 

In addition:
Please consult NYtimes article on this study: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/02/16/business/economy/income-gains-after-re...

 

Emanuel Saez, "Striking it Richer: The Evolution of Top Incomes in the United States," UC Berkley, Jan. 23, 2013. http://elsa.berkeley.edu/~saez/saez-UStopincomes-2011.pdf

 

[verified 4/17/14]

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