American statistics heading into 2012
50 million Americans live below the official poverty line, while another 100 million live in “near-poverty,” struggling to support themselves on incomes so low that they are one misfortune away from destitution.
According to a study by the McKinsey consulting firm, it took six months for the US economy to return to pre-recession job levels after the 1982 recession. After the 1991 recession, the recovery in jobs required 15 months. After the 2001 recession, it took 39 months.
At the current level of job creation, it would take 78 months –6 ½ years — to reach the level of 146 million workers employed before the onset of the recession—assuming that there is no further deepening of the economic slump.
One out of every four American children depends on food stamps. Some 1.6 million children were homeless at some point or other during this year. For young workers aged 18 to 24, jobless rates exceed the Depression level of 20 percent. Nearly 20 percent of all American men between the ages of 25 and 34 are now living with their parents.
According to the Employee Benefit Research Institute, 46 percent of all American workers have less than $10,000 saved for retirement, and 29 percent of all American workers have less than $1,000 saved for retirement.
Some 25 million workers are either unemployed or underemployed, and 50 million live without health insurance.
[Excerpt of WSW article by Patrick Martin]