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The Great Recession
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Other fallout

Falling income, rising poverty

The labor market is the foundation of income for the vast majority of families.  Family incomes are affected by weak labor markets, both through job loss and through hours and wage cuts for those who have work.  This chart shows median, or typical, household income, both overall and for working-age households.  The typical working-age household saw an income decline of $2,700 from 2007 to 2009.  Furthermore, given that this recession came on the heels of one of the worst business cycles (2000-07) on record in terms of job creation, the typical working-age household brought in roughly $5,000 less in 2009 than it did in the year 2000.    

Because racial and ethnic minorities are disproportionately hit by job loss in recessions, their incomes drop further than that of whites.  African Americans in particular have seen very large income declines during the Great Recession.

The Great Recession has seen a substantial rise in poverty.  In 2009, one in seven people were living in poverty, and one in five kids under the age of 18 was living in poverty.  Young kids have been the hardest hit, with nearly one in four children under the age of 6 living in poverty.

Racial and ethnic minority families are much more likely to be living in poverty than non-Hispanic workers, regardless of whether the economy is in an expansion or recession.  In the Great Recession, however, Hispanics in particular have seen large increases in poverty.  Roughly one in four Hispanics and African Americans are living in poverty.

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