Incomes rise for bottom 99 percent, but inequality still worsens
WASHINGTON - Solid job growth is finally boosting paychecks.
Incomes for the bottom 99 percent of American families rose 3.3 percent last year -- the biggest annual gain in the past 15 years. That's according to data compiled by economist Emmanuel Saez and released today by the Washington Center for Equitable Growth.
The increase likely reflects robust hiring last year when employers added 3.1 million jobs - the most since 1999. That lowered the unemployment rate to 5.6 percent from 6.7 percent a year earlier.
Still, income inequality worsened in 2014. The richest 1 percent of Americans posted a much bigger increase in pay. Their incomes soared an average of 10.8 percent to $1.3 million. The wealthiest 1 percent captured 21.2 percent of all income in 2014, up from 20.1 percent the previous year.
The top 10 percent of income earners also boosted their share in 2014, receiving 49.9 percent of total income, up from 48.9 percent in 2013.
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