Median income levels fell in 18 states during 2011 and remained flat in almost every other state. The Census Bureau will release figures today, September 20, 2012, that will show that Americans are still struggling with high rates of unemployment and the resulting heavy debt load.
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The states that were at the highest point of the economic boom are now those whose median incomes are falling the hardest. Nevada, California, Arizona, and Florida experienced declines ranging from 6% to 2.9%. The national average rate of median income decline was 1.3%.
These are the states most affected by the mortgage crisis. Individual wealth declined so families cut spending, which in turn businesses.
The report issued is part of the American Community Survey, a continuous report on a broad spectrum of demographic, social, economic, and housing data. Its sample size is 3.3 million people.
Vermont was the only state to register any meaningful increase. Incomes increased
in Vermont by 4% and the state’s poverty rate also fell. Economists say that as younger people leave the state, a smaller pool of job seekers pushes salaries up, giving the state the lowest unemployment rate in the nation—5%.
Since Vermont is also experiencing higher tax collections and has fewer workers to which it must pay out pension benefits, its bonds may also be of higher quality.