(Bloomberg) — Millions of low-income Americans are locked into poverty thanks to U.S. tax policy, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta researchers say. About a quarter of lower-income workers effectively face marginal tax rates of more than 70% when adjusted for the loss of government benefits, a study led by Atlanta Fed Research Director David Altig found. That means for every $1,000 gained in incom
If you are making less than $3,000 a month, you have plenty of company, because about half of the country is in the exact same boat. The Social Security Administration just released new wage statistics for 2019, and they are pretty startling. To me, the most alarming thing in the entire report is the fact that the median yearly wage was just $34,248.45 last year. In other words, half of all American workers made less than $34,248.45 in 2019, and half of all American workers made more than $34,248.45. That isn’t a whole lot of money. In fact, when you divide $34,248.45 by 12 you get just $2,854.05. Needless to say, it is not easy to survive in America today on just $2,854.05 a month, and this may help to explain why we have been seeing so many people fall out of the middle class in recent years.
And of course all of the figures that I am sharing with you in this article are just for 2019. This year, we have seen more than 63 million Americans file new claims for unemployment benefits as the U.S. economy has imploded during this pandemic, and so the final wage numbers for 2020 could be quite a bit worse than the numbers for 2019 were. Please keep that in mind as you go through the rest of this article.
Once upon a time in America, a single income could easily support a middle class household in most cases, but those days are long gone.
- First-time filings for jobless claims last week hit 898,000, above the Wall Street estimate of 830,000.
- That was the highest level since Aug. 22 and a sign of the ongoing struggles in the labor market.
- Continuing claims again fell sharply, dropping to just over 10 million