Politics

Memorial Day by the Numbers

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Huffington Post
By Preeti Vissa

Memorial Day began as a solemn holiday devoted to remembering our nation’s war dead. While it’s still a solemn occasion for many, for most Americans Memorial Day is now mainly an excuse to fire up the barbecue and generally kick back.

But before any of us start throwing burgers on the grill and popping open a beer or two, I humbly offer a short status report on America as of this holiday weekend, based on the most recent stats available. Call it Memorial Day by the numbers:

Change in U.S. average hourly earnings, April 2010 to April 2011: -1.2%
Number of U.S. mass layoffs during the first quarter of 2011: 1,393
National unemployment rate for whites: 8.0%
National unemployment rate for Hispanics: 11.8%
National unemployment rate for African Americans: 16.1%
National unemployment rate for workers with a disability: 14.5%
Number of Americans working part-time who want to be working full-time: 8,600,000
Change in U.S. corporate profits, 2009 to 2010: +36.8%
Last time corporate profits grew that much: 1950
Number of U.S. workers unemployed for over six months: 5,800,000
Percentage of Americans making less than half the official poverty level, 2008: 5.7%
Percentage of Americans making less than half the official poverty level, 2009: 6.3%
U.S. rate of child poverty, 2000: 16%
U.S. rate of child poverty, 2009: 21%
Percentage of total U.S. income earned by Americans below the poverty line, 2009: 3.4%
Percentage of total U.S. income earned by the wealthiest 20% of Americans, 2009: 49.4%
Ratio of income between the top 20% and those below the poverty line, 1968: 7.69 to 1
Ratio of income between the top 20% and those below the poverty line, 2009: 14.5 to 1
Number of western industrialized countries other than the U.S. with an income gap that large: 0
Number of U.S. homes foreclosed in 2010: 1,050,000
Number of prior years in which over 1 million homes were foreclosed: 0
Average tax rate, all U.S. households, 1992: 21.5%
Average tax rate, all U.S. households, 2007: 20.4%
Average tax rate, 400 wealthiest U.S. households, 1992: 26.4%
Average tax rate, 400 wealthiest U.S. households*, 2007: 16.6%
Change in annual income, average U.S. household, 1992 to 2007: +13%
Change in annual income, top 1% of U.S. households, 1992 to 2007: +123%
Change in annual income, wealthiest 400 U.S. households, 1992 to 2007: +399%