Fed: Minorities recovered greatest from recession, still lag in wealth

Sept. 27 (UPI) — Americans across all income brackets have recovered from the Great Recession, though minorities and those without a high school education, as well as the most wealthy, have benefitted the most, the Federal Reserve said Wednesday.

The Fed released its annual Survey of Consumer Finances, which provides income and jobs data for Americans from 2013-16. It showed gains for most Americans during that time period; the previous three years, 2010-13, in the wake of the recession, showed declines.

“Families throughout the income distribution experienced gains in average real incomes between 2013 and 2016, reversing the trend from 2010 to 2013, when real incomes fell or remained stagnant for all but the top of the income distribution,” the report said.

The median net growth for all American households grew 10 percent from 2013-16, while the median net growth declined 5 percent.

Though black and Hispanic families, and those without a high school diploma, had among the greatest proportional household wealth growth between 2013-16, their overall median wealth started at a lower point than other groups. Household wealth for Hispanic families grew 46 percent to $20,700, black families 29 percent to $17,600, white families 17 percent to $171,000, and other race or multiple race families grew 64.8 percent to $42,500. Those without a high school diploma grew the greatest at 29 percent to $22,800, while the slowest was those with a college degree with 2 percent to $292,100.

Meanwhile, the disparity between the lowest income families and the highest became even greater.

The top 1 percent of households held 24 percent of the income, a record high, while the bottom 90 percent of households accounted for less than half of America’s total income for the first time since the Fed started keeping the numbers the 1980s.

“While all groups experienced losses during the Great Recession, the … data reveal broad-based growth in household net worth across groups since 2013,” the Fed said. “However, disparities in wealth-holding, asset-holding, and debt-holding remain: White families have considerably more wealth than black, Hispanic, and other families, even among those with similar levels of education.”

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