US poverty worse than previous recessions

The Big Apple and the Splenid New World can also not escape the same problems as its mother-home continent.

The U.S. Census Bureau announced on Tuesday September 13  that in 2010, median household income declined, the poverty rate increased and the percentage without health insurance coverage was not statistically different from the previous year.

Median household income and GDP per capita lev...

Median household income and GDP per capita - Image via Wikipedia

Real median household income in the United States in 2010 was $49,445, a 2.3 percent decline from the 2009 median.

Since 2007, the year before the most recent recession, real median household income has declined 6.4 percent and is 7.1 percent below the median household income peak that occurred prior to the 2001 recession in 1999. The percentages are not statistically different from each another. Since 2007, the number of men working full time, year-round with earnings decreased by 6.6 million and the number of corresponding women declined by 2.8 million. Among race groups, real median income declined for white and black households between 2009 and 2010, while changes for Asian and Hispanic-origin households were not statistically different. Real median income for each race and Hispanic-origin group has not yet recovered to the pre-2001 recession all-time highs.

USA median income 2011

The nation’s official poverty rate in 2010 was 15.1 percent, up from 14.3 percent in 2009 ─ the third consecutive annual increase in the poverty rate. There were 46.2 million people in poverty in 2010, up from 43.6 million in 2009 ─ the fourth consecutive annual increase and the largest number in the 52 years for which poverty estimates have been published.

The number of people without health insurance coverage rose from 49.0 million in 2009 to 49.9 million in 2010, while the percentage without coverage −16.3 percent – was not statistically different from the rate in 2009.

In 2010 the poverty was the highest since 1993 but was 7.3 percentage points lower than the poverty rate in 1959, the first year for which poverty estimates are available.

No wonder that the poverty rate which increased by 2.6 since 2007 shall still climb up a dangerous mountain of uncertainty for many people and manufacturers.

The poverty rate of were 11.7 percent and 9.2 million increased for both married-couple families (6.2 percent and 3.6 million in 2010 from 5.8 percent and 3.4 million in 2009) and female-householder-with-no-husband-present families (31.6 percent and 4.7 million in 2010 from 29.9 percent and 4.4 million in 2009). For families with a male householder no wife present, the poverty rate and the number in poverty were not statistically different from 2009 (15.8 percent and 880,000 in 2010).

From the States of America we get to hear more that young people who did not find work for months or leaving the state were they were living to go back to live by their parents. For others the housing is a problem or their wages are just to low to be able to survive on their own. Those young adults age 25-34, living with their parents, had an official poverty rate of 8.4 percent, but if their poverty status were determined using their own income, 45.3 percent had an income below the poverty threshold for a single person under age 65.

For children younger than 18, the poverty rate increased  (from 20.7 percent in 2009 to 22.0 percent in 2010) and people 18 to 64 (from 12.9 percent in 2009 to 13.7 percent in 2010), while it was not statistically different for people 65 and older (9.0 percent). Similar to the patterns observed for the poverty rate in 2010, the number of people in poverty increased for children younger than 18 (15.5 million in 2009 to 16.4 million in 2010) and people 18 to 64 (24.7 million in 2009 to 26.3 million in 2010) and was not statistically different for people 65 and older (3.5 million).

Though lots of people have to leave New York, because they are not able anymore to survive over-there, in 2010, the poverty rates and the number in poverty for the Northeast, Midwest and the West of the United States seem not to be statistically different from 2009. Luckily there were not too many ill uninsured people, because the Northeast and the Midwest had the lowest uninsured rates in 2010. So the health could bring a big burden in case the pressure of the crisis becomes higher or to high for many to bear. The number of uninsured increased in the Northeast, while there were no statistically significant changes for the other three regions.

Barack Obama has no easy time. The Insurance system he had to fight for is now again under pressure. Barack Obama could propose several hundred billions dollars in cuts from Medicare and Medicaid, as part of a pitch to cut future deficits.
The American president knows better than the Belgian government how important it is to get everybody back in business. The President’s plan will cut in half the taxes paid by businesses on their first $5 million in payroll, targeting the benefit to the 98 percent of firms that have payroll below this threshold. He will eliminate payroll taxes for firms that increase their payroll by adding new workers or increasing the wages of their current worker (the benefit is capped at the first $50 million in payroll increases).
But by cutting payroll taxes in half for 160 million workers next year were is the money to come from to build the roads and schools and do the other work? The President’s plan will expand the payroll tax cut passed last year to cut workers payroll taxes in half in 2012 – providing a $1,500 tax cut to the typical American family, without negatively impacting the Social Security Trust Fund.
To ensure that the American Jobs Act is fully paid for, the President will call on the Joint Committee to come up with additional deficit reduction necessary to pay for the Act and still meet its deficit target. The President will, in the coming days, release a detailed plan that will show how they can do that while achieving the additional deficit reduction necessary to meet the President’s broader goal of stabilizing the American debt as a share of the economy.

The delusional dream of a global Pax Americana enforced by a worldwide US military empire after 9/11 has been sucking the lifeblood out of the US economy … and the price has been paid in flat-to-falling living standards. The War on Terror or the Overseas Contingency Operation brings America down on its knees, so that Osama Bin Laden succeeded. Althoug Osama bin Laden, the founder of al-Qaeda, was killed on May 2, 2011, during a raid conducted by the United States special operations forces in Abbottabad, Pakistan, the War Against Al Qaeda is still going on and costing fortunes and more lives then were killed in the WTC Twin Towers.

Those who came back damaged from the war, Obama wants to be back at work. A “Returning Heroes” hiring tax credit for veterans is proposed, providing tax credits from $5,600 to $9,600 to encourage the hiring of unemployed veterans.
While in the Belgian schools the old teachers are put at the door in the State they are aware that they should prevent up to 280,000 teacher layoffs, while keeping cops and firefighters on the job.
Modernizing at least 35,000 public schools across the country, supporting new science labs, Internet-ready classrooms and renovations at schools across the country, in rural and urban areas shall give a lot of incentive. Lots of people can be put at work and others shall find a nicer environment to work and to live in.
Because the American government shall take care that roads, rail, airports and waterways can be modernised while putting hundreds of thousands of workers back on the job.

The most innovative reform to the unemployment insurance program in 40 years: As part of an extension of unemployment insurance to prevent 5 million Americans looking for  work from losing their benefits, the President’s plan includes innovative work-based reforms to prevent layoffs and give states greater flexibility to use UI funds to best support job-seekers, including:
› Work-Sharing: UI for workers whose employers choose work-sharing over layoffs.
› A new “Bridge to Work” program: The plan builds on and improves innovative state programs where those displaced take temporary, voluntary work or pursue on-the-job training.

There seems to look forward but we keep an eye on what happened in the past.

Historical Impact of Recessions

Since 2010 represents the first full calendar year after the recession that ended in June 2009, one can compare changes in income, poverty and health insurance coverage between 2009 and 2010 with changes during the first year after the end of other recessions:

  • Median household income declined the first full year following the December 2007 to June 2009 recession, as well as in the first full year following three other recessions (March 2001 to November 2001, January 1980 to July 1980 and December 1969 to November 1970). However, household income increased the first full year following the November 1973 to March 1975 recession, and the changes following the July 1990 to March 1991 and July 1981 to November 1982 recessions were not statistically significant.
  • The poverty rate and the number of people in poverty increased in the first calendar year following the end of the last three recessions. For the recessions that ended in 1961 and 1975, the poverty rate decreased in the next full calendar year.
  •      After the most recent recession, there was no significant difference in the uninsured rate during the first full year after the recession. However, in the year following the recessions that ended in 1991 and 2001, the uninsured rate increased.
A shantytown in Miami. The figures will dent optimism about a US economic recovery since 2008

A shantytown in Miami. The figures will dent optimism about a US economic recovery since 2008 - Reuters

– – –

* With thanks to The Census Bureau’s statistical experts, with assistance from the Bureau of Labor Statistics and in consultation with the Office of Management and Budget, the Economics and Statistics Administration of the Unites States.


Quote of the day: “For those of you who did skip class today, I’ve got a homework assignment for you. Tell your Congressperson that the time for gridlock and games is over; the time for action is now.” –President Obama on the American Jobs Act in Raleigh, NC

Video: “Now is the Time to Act”
President Obama was in Raleigh, North Carolina today to visit WestStar Precision, which manufactures metalwork for aircraft interiors and is one of 170,000 small businesses in North Carolina that would benefit from the American Jobs Act. Speaking afterwards at North Carolina State University, the President urged folks to keep the pressure on Congress to pass the bill right away.


He told the New York Times: “This is truly a lost decade. We think of America as a place where every generation is doing better, but we’re looking at a period when the median family is in worse shape than it was in the late 1990s.”

  • Census: US poverty rate swells to nearly 1 in 6 (
    Congress passed a health overhaul last year to address rising numbers of the uninsured. While the main provisions don’t take effect until 2014, one aspect taking effect in late 2010 allowed young adults 26 and younger to be covered under their parents’ health insurance.

Brett O’Hara, chief of the Health and Disability Statistics branch at the Census Bureau, noted that the uninsured rate declined — from 29.3 percent to 27.2 percent — for adults ages 18 to 24 compared to some other age groups.

  • Salisbury civic center holds food distribution (
    Hundreds of people in need in Rowan County awoke early Wednesday morning to stand in line for the annual food distribution at the Salisbury Civic Center.As the state and national poverty rate goes up, organizers of the give-a-way said it is one of the largest groups they have seen yet. Organizers host the even four times a year. They say more and more people attended every give-a-way.
  • Poverty In America: A Special Report (
    Unemployment is rampant and the number of good jobs continues to shrink.  Once upon a time in America, if you really wanted a job you could go out and get one.  Today, competition for even the lowest paying jobs has become absolutely brutal.  There simply are not enough chairs at the “economic table”, and not being able to get a good job is pushing large numbers of Americans into poverty…..
  • Census: Income, Poverty, and Health Insurance Coverage: 2010
    Think Tank

About Marcus Ampe

Retired dancer, choreographer, choreologist Founder of the Dance impresario office and archive: Danscontact-Dansarchief plus the Association for Bible scholars, the Lifestyle magazines "Stepping Toes" and "From Guestwriters" and creator of the site "Messiah for all". - Gepensioneerd danser, choreograaf, choreoloog. Stichter van Danscontact-Dansarchief plus van de Vereniging voor Bijbelvorsers, de Lifestyle magazines "Stepping Toes" en "From Guestwriters" en maker van de site "Messiah for all".
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