Record poverty last year as household income dips

Source: MarketWatch

WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) — A record number of people were in poverty last year as households saw their income decrease, according to data from the Census Bureau Tuesday, demonstrating the weakness of the economy even after the official end of the recession.

The 46.2 million people in poverty in 2010 was the most for the 52 years that estimates have been published, and the number of people in poverty rose for the fourth consecutive year as the poverty rate climbed to 15.1% — the highest since 1993 — up from 14.3% in 2009.

Meanwhile, real median household income in 2010 was $49,445, down 2.3% from the prior year and below pre-recession levels.

“I would frame this report as giving us a look at whether the so-called recovery that started in June 2009 has had any widespread benefits for American families,” said Larry Katz, a labor economist at Harvard University.

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