Ever hear the comment "figures don't lie, but liars figure?" While your figures might be accurate, they don't tell the whole story:
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics wages have barely grown for the last 5 years.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the average earnings increase from 2000-2004 was very small, 3.86%, 3.22%, 3.12%, 1.71% and 2.39% respectively. However wages have to be compared to inflation to determine the real rate of wage growth. For the same years, annual inflation was 3.4%, 2.8%, 1.6%, 2.3% and 2.7% respectively. When inflation is subtracted from wages, overall wage growth becomes .46%, .42%, 1.52%, -.59% and-.31% respectively for 2000-2004.
Therefore, a family who started in 2000 with $36,000 now makes $36,538.37. That's a compound annual growth rate of .29%. In my opinion, that growth rate stinks.
The labor participation rate measures the percentage of people working as a total of the total number of people able to work. According to the BLS, that percentage was 67.2 in January of 2001. The June percentage was 66%. Fewer people are working now than in 2001!
How are people maintaining their standard of living? Like our Republican-lead Federal government, they’re taking on massive amounts of debt.
According to the Federal Reserve, total consumer debt is just under 10 trillion dollars. This includes credit card and mortgage debt. This is the highest level in 25 years.
According to the Federal Reserve, mortgage debt increased from 5 trillion to just under 10 trillion from 2000 - 2004. This is the highest level in 25 years.
According to the Federal Reserve, household debt as a percentage of GDP has increased from 70% to 85% from 2000 - 2004. This is the highest level in 35 years.
According to the Federal Reserve, household debt as a percentage of assets has increased from 15% - 18% from 2000 - 2004. This is the highest level in 40 years.
Also remember that after inflation, wage growth was stagnant for the last few years. This means debt payments are taking a larger percentage of personal income. Add the high cost of gasoline to consumer's woes. Another thing to remember is that much of this debt is underwritten by the US government. Any banks that go under because consumer's can't pay their debts will be covered by FDIC (Federal) insurance. That will add to already huge Federal deficit when/if people can't pay their bills.
1.) Wages have grown at a .2% compound rate under this Republican administration.
2.) A smaller percentage of people are working of the total people who could work.
3.) Families are using borrowed money to maintain their standard of living.