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.

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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%

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