Monday, September 06, 2004

What about Indiana? 

For this Labor Day the Indianapolis Star writes that Indianapolis has fallen to near the bottom of the list for job growth in large metro areas. Indianapolis lost 6900 jobs last month. While much of the nation has enjoyed modest growth, Indy has had a decline.

You don't have to tell me. While I have a job I like, its nice to have that possibility to improve me lot. My homeowners insurance just doubled (I think my insurer thinks we soon to see a tornado in the back yard) and since raises at Indiana University are slow in coming, its good to look around. And there aint much to look at.

So instead I looked at the recent report,
The State of Working America 2004-2005
, released by the Economic Policy Institute. It doesnt paint a rosy picture of life for working Americans. Despite great productivity gains in the market, job growth has lagged. Worse real income for most Americans has continued to shrink.

* Real median family income declined 1.2% per year from 2000 to 2002, a twoyear
drop of $1,300 in 2003 dollars.
* For the average family (in the middle fifth of the income range) income dropped
by 2.2% during 2000-2002. About 80% of that decline occurred because of a
decrease in annual work hours.
* 2002 set the record for the slowest growth in nominal income growth for the
median family since 1954. Income rose only 0.5% and fell behind inflation in
2001 and 2002. The cumulative two-year real income decline for 2000-2002
reached 2.4%, the largest two-year percentage loss since 1992.

Just a few of the details you can get about the way things are going in America.

* The middle-earning group of households, defined as those with income
from half to twice the median, shrunk to 60.7% in 2002 from 68.0% in

For more of a hoot, I suggest the section on wealth. At least some people in America are doing better.

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