Personal Incomes

3:18pm

Tue September 17, 2013
Economy

Census Report Paints Troubling Economic Picture On Incomes

Originally published on Tue September 17, 2013 3:34 pm

Raisa Ruiz (right) and her niece Mary Badels wait in line at the Manna Food Center, Gaithersburg, Md., on Sept. 13.
Chloe Coleman NPR

For the first year since the recession, median household incomes did not decline in 2012. But it's hardly a reassuring picture. Incomes were flat despite the economic recovery and big gains in the stock market. That's a troubling aspect about today's labor market. It's four years since the official end of the recession and many households are worse off than when it started.

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10:21am

Tue September 17, 2013
Economy

Poverty Rate Unchanged In 2012

How the number of Americans below the poverty line and the poverty rate have changed.
Census Bureau

The nation's poverty rate remained unchanged at 15 percent in 2012, the Census Bureau said Tuesday.

For a family of four (two adults, two children) the poverty threshold in 2012 was $23,283.

There were 46.5 million Americans below the poverty line last year, Census says, vs. 46.2 million in 2011.

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10:32am

Thu September 12, 2013
Business

D.C. Mayor Vetoes 'Living Wage' Bill Targeting Large Retailers

Originally published on Thu September 12, 2013 12:25 pm

A worker collects shopping carts at a Wal-Mart parking lot, in Bristol, Pa.
Matt Rourke AP

Washington, D.C., Mayor Vincent Gray has vetoed a controversial "living wage" bill that would have forced large retailers such as Wal-Mart to pay a 50 percent premium on the district's $8.25 per hour minimum wage.

When the bill was approved by the city council in July, Wal-Mart said it would abandon three of the six stores it planned to build in the district, claiming the required minimum $12.50 it would have to pay was too much.

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1:43am

Thu September 12, 2013
Author Interviews

Tired Of Inequality? One Economist Says It'll Only Get Worse

Originally published on Thu September 12, 2013 7:57 am

Economist Tyler Cowen believes that income inequality in America is only increasing. His new book is called Average Is Over: Powering America Beyond the Age of the Great Stagnation.
Szasz-Fabian Ilka Erika iStockphoto.com

Economist Tyler Cowen has some advice for what to do about America's income inequality: Get used to it. In his latest book, Average Is Over, Cowen lays out his prediction for where the U.S. economy is heading, like it or not:

"I think we'll see a thinning out of the middle class," he tells NPR's Steve Inskeep. "We'll see a lot of individuals rising up to much greater wealth. And we'll also see more individuals clustering in a kind of lower-middle class existence."

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5:23am

Wed September 11, 2013
Planet Money

Why Women (Like Me) Choose Lower-Paying Jobs

Originally published on Wed September 11, 2013 9:01 am

Share of women in most lucrative majors
Quoctrung Bui/NPR Anthony Carnevale

The other day, I was interviewing an economist who studies the effect college majors have on peoples' income. He was telling me that women often make decisions that lead them to earn less than they otherwise might.

Women are overrepresented among majors that don't pay very well (psychology, art, comparative literature), and underrepresented in lots of lucrative majors (most fields in engineering).

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