On Wednesday, the Federal Reserve said U.S. household wealth jumped $1.3 trillion in the second-quarter. During the same period, however, food stamp enrollments–a classic measure of personal economic instability–jumped by 211,708 people.
Between April and June, America’s net worth increased to $74.8 trillion. Roughly half of the $1.3 trillion increase ($525 billion) was due to residential real estate values improving, and roughly $300 billion of the gains were attributable to corporate equities and mutual funds.
Economists say that while second-quarter numbers may reflect gains for homeowners and those who own investments, they do little to help those struggling to stay afloat in the Obama economy. Despite U.S. stocks hitting record highs as of late, just 52% of adults own any stocks individually or through funds. By comparison, in 2007, 65% of Americans owned stock. And 7.1 million homeowners are still underwater in their mortgages, meaning they owe more than their homes are worth.
Still, food stamp enrollments have remained above 47 million people for 11 months in a row–an all-time record high. The Obama Administration’s aggressive drive to increase food stamp enrollments, combined with the moribund economic recovery, has successfully taken the number of people on food stamps from 31.9 million in January 2009 all the way up to 47,760,285 today.