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New Data Show Growing Challenges for Working Families
Cost of Living Grows While Median Income Falls
(Washington, D.C.) – According to new research, middle-income American families have seen their daily costs rise significantly in recent years – while at the same time median incomes are falling. For a family of four, the cost of child care, higher education, health care, housing, and retirement increased by more than $10,000 from 2000-2012. Housing costs rose by 28 percent, childcare by 37 percent, and higher education by 39 percent in that same 12-year period. For families in the middle 20 percent of incomes, median net worth actually fell during this period – by a stunning 17 percent, according to the study.
At the same time, Census data shows that the median household income in the United States was essentially unchanged in 2013, and remains 8 percent lower than before the recession began in 2007. For Hispanics, median income saw a slight uptick in 2013, but remains 39 percent less than that of whites, and is still below the Hispanic income levels in 2007 and 2009. The data show how little progress the economy has made in recent decades – with median income still stuck below its level in 1989.
Daniel Garza, Executive Director of The LIBRE Initiative, released the following statement:
"In recent years, millions of American families have seen their wages shrinking and the cost of living rising. This data shows that if anything, things have grown worse in the 5 years since the recession ended – as incomes remain low. It's time for our leaders in Washington to set aside politics, and begin to change the policies that every day put more of a squeeze on American families.
Spending, regulation, and the federal debt continue to grow. New and more costly burdens continue to be imposed on entrepreneurs and small businesses. The tax burden continues to rise to a record level nearly every year. These are the trends we need to change in order to relieve the current climate of uncertainty that has hindered growth in the private sector. It must happen quickly – the people can't wait any longer."