Number of Workers Below Average Wage Level Increase

October 21 00:00 2011

New York, October 21 ( – The divide between the rich and the poor is increasing in the US as is reflected by a government report that shows fifty percent of U.S. workers earned less than $26,364 last year. Although there are fewer jobs in the market and overall pay is sliding down, the number of people making $1 million or more surged by over 18 percent from 2009 as was revealed by the Social Security Administration, citing payroll data based on W-2 forms submitted by employers to the Internal Revenue Service.

Total employment stood at just under 150.4 million last year with the number of Americans with jobs declining although population grew. Employment figure in 2008 was 155.4 million and in 2009 it was 150.9 million. According to the IRS data, there were 5.2 million fewer jobs than in 2007, when the deep recession started.

The unemployment rate is stationary at 9.1 percent with 14 million out of work and 11 million others who have stopped looking for work or are stuck in part-time jobs. According to the Census Bureau, roughly 5 percent of annual national income has shifted from the middle class to the richest households in America.

With the average U.S. income last year at $39,959 and the mean income at $26,364, the disparity shows that “the distribution of workers by wage level is highly skewed,” according to Social Security.