Income, poverty, and unemployment by the numbers

The unemployment rate has been stuck around 9 percent for more than two years. And pressure is mounting on President Obama and Congress to help create more jobs. Here’s a look at unemployment and the nation’s poverty rate by the numbers:

? The median household income across the country declined 6.4 percent from $52,823 in 2007 to $49,445 in 2010, after inflation adjustment. Black households experienced the highest decline of 10.1 percent, followed by 7.5 percent for Asian, 7.2 percent for Hispanic (any race), and 5.4 percent for White households.

? From 2007 to 2010, the labor force of full-time, year-round workers lost twice as many men as women. The number of working men declined by 6.6 million to 56.4 million, while working women declined 2.8 million to 42.8 million.

? The national poverty rate was 15.1 percent in 2010, an increase of 2.6 percentage points from 2007. This was the third consecutive year of an increase and was the highest rate since 1993.

? There were 46.2 million people living in poverty in 2010. It is the fourth consecutive year of an increase and the largest number in the poverty rate’s 52-year reporting history.

? 8.4 percent of young adults aged 25 to 34 living with their parents were living below the poverty line, based on the entire family’s income. If only their income was used in calculation, the poverty rate would have been 45.3 percent.

? In September 2011, there were 14 million unemployed people in the U.S. and the unemployment rate was 9.1 percent. If part-time workers who could not find full-time jobs, and workers who did not actively look for work due to discouragement or other reasons, were factored in, then the unemployment rate would have gone up to 16.5 percent.

? 6.2 million or 44.6 percent of the unemployed have been looking for work for 27 weeks or more. The average length of unemployment was 40.5 weeks in September 2011. It is the longest average period of unemployment since the statistics was first recorded in 1948.

? 7 million or 5 percent of all employed workers held multiple jobs in September 2011. 9.2 million workers were self-employed but unincorporated.


U.S. Census Bureau, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics