The gap between the United States’ rich and poor continued to grow last year, according to new government wage data.
With pay down and fewer jobs available, the Social Security Administration’s figures highlight one of the major issues of the Occupy Wall Street movement - widening income disparity.
The SSA said 50 percent of workers made less than $26,364 last year — and most Americans have fewer job opportunities available to them. But the wealthiest Americans are relatively unscathed, with those earning $1 million or more jumping 18 percent from 2009.
Total employment fell again last year, dropping from 150.9 million in 2009 to 150.4 million in 2010. And in 2007, at the height of the recession, there were still 5.2 million more jobs than in 2010, the AP wrote.
The average income for Americans was $39,959 last year, but the median wage was just $26,364. The SSA wrote that this shows “the distribution of workers by wage level is highly skewed,” the AP reported.
Occupy Wall Street protesters have demonstrated across the country in recent weeks against what they deem the unfair income disparity between the U.S.’s top wage earners and average Americans.