Politics

The Largest Share of Income Ever Recorded Went To The One Percent in 2012

| by Sarah Fruchtnicht
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The wealthiest Americans have almost fully recovered from the economic meltdown, taking home 50 percent of all income in 2012, according to a report from economists Emmanuel Saez and Thomas Piketty.

The top one percent of wage earners took home 95 percent of income gains in the first three years of economic recovery.

According to the same report, the “top one percent incomes are close to full recovery while bottom 99 percent incomes have hardly started to recover."

The one percent in the U.S. grew by 31.4 percent while the bottom 99 percent grew by only 0.4 percent from 2009 to 2012.

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The trend of income inequality that began in the 1970s, the study authors wrote, was only disrupted by the Great Recession and it now continues.

The one percent took home 19.3 percent of the total household income in 2012 – the biggest percentage of total income since 1927, when the group took 18.7 percent

In a separate research study, Saez, a leading researcher of wealth and income inequality at the University of California, Berkeley, found that the top one percent took home 86 percent of the income growth from 1993 to 2000. During that time, the 99 percent saw only a 6.6 percent increase in earnings.

Income inequality in the U.S. is worse than in Egypt, Tunisia, the Ivory Coast, Pakistan, Ethiopia and Yemen, according to Raw Story. The top ten percent of wage earners in the U.S. have 15.9 times the income of the bottom 90 percent.

Sources: USA Today, Raw Story