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More Than Half of U.S. Wage Earners Make Under $30,000 a Year, According to a Shocking New Report

 We can probably all agree now that the wealth gap in the U.S. has pretty much turned into a gaping abyss. (Shutterstock)

Wage statistics for 2014, recently released by the Social Security Administration, provide proof to the claim we all feared was true: The middle class is actually disappearing. As the online publication Washington’s Blog notes, 51 percent of U.S. workers in 2014 made less than $2,500 a month before taxes — which is below the poverty line for a family of five. What’s worse is that as the numbers in the original report are parsed, other stunning facts become clear. For instance, the fact that nearly 40 percent of Americans aren’t even making $30,000 but rather are earning closer to $20,000. Or that 70 percent of workers made less than $50,000 in 2014.

All of this just illustrates in vivid detail how far the wealth gap in the U.S. has widened. We’ve gotten to the point where the majority of U.S. citizens are barely making enough to make ends meet, and let’s face it, most aren’t even scraping by.

Michael Snyder explains in his post for Washington’s Blog how these numbers don’t even paint the full picture of income inequality in this country:

The federal poverty level for a family of five is $28,410, and yet almost 40 percent of all American workers do not even bring in $20,000 a year.

If you worked a full-time job at $10 an hour all year long with two weeks off, you would make approximately $20,000. This should tell you something about the quality of the jobs that our economy is producing at this point.

And of course [the numbers in the SSA report] are only for those that are actually working. As I discussed just recently, there are 7.9 million working age Americans that are “officially unemployed” right now and another 94.7 million working age Americans that are considered to be “not in the labor force”. When you add those two numbers together, you get a grand total of 102.6 million working age Americans that do not have a job right now.

The SSA report is reprinted in full, below.

—Posted by Natasha Hakimi Zapata

Wage Statistics for 2014


The national average wage index (AWI) is based on
compensation (wages, tips, and the like) subject to Federal income taxes, as reported
by employers on Forms W-2. Beginning with the AWI for 1991, compensation includes
contributions to deferred compensation plans, but excludes certain distributions from
plans where the distributions are included in the reported compensation subject to
income taxes. We call the result of including contributions, and excluding certain
distributions, net compensation. The table below summarizes the components of
net compensation for 2014.

Net compensation components for 2014
Compensation subject to Federal income taxes $6,797,372,805,419.35
Deferred compensation plan
   Contributionsa
   Distributionsb
+ 255,336,805,992.78
– 2,450,397,767.58
Net compensation 7,050,259,213,644.55
a Wages on which contributions were paid by 53,592,754 workers.
b Distributions, to the extent included in reported wages
(see text above), paid to 60,572 workers.

The “raw” average wage, computed as net compensation divided by
the number of wage earners, is $7,050,259,213,644.55 divided by 158,186,786, or $44,569.20.
Based on data in the table below, about 67.2 percent of wage earners had
net compensation less than or equal to the $44,569.20 raw average wage.

By definition, 50 percent of wage earners had net compensation less than or
equal to the median wage, which is estimated to be
$28,851.21 for 2014.

Distribution of wage earners by level of net compensation
Wage earners Net compensation
Net compensation interval Number Cumulative
number
Percent
of total
Aggregate amount Average amount
$0.01 — 4,999.99 22,574,440 22,574,440 14.27075 $46,647,919,125.68 $2,066.40
5,000.00 — 9,999.99 13,848,841 36,423,281 23.02549 102,586,913,092.61 7,407.62
10,000.00 — 14,999.99 12,329,270 48,752,551 30.81961 153,566,802,438.45 12,455.47
15,000.00 — 19,999.99 11,505,776 60,258,327 38.09315 200,878,198,035.07 17,458.90
20,000.00 — 24,999.99 10,918,555 71,176,882 44.99547 245,317,570,246.88 22,467.95
25,000.00 — 29,999.99 10,192,863 81,369,745 51.43903 279,865,461,187.05 27,457.00
30,000.00 — 34,999.99 9,487,840 90,857,585 57.43690 307,828,947,411.16 32,444.58
35,000.00 — 39,999.99 8,578,215 99,435,800 62.85974 321,200,755,103.44 37,443.78
40,000.00 — 44,999.99 7,553,972 106,989,772 67.63509 320,563,569,965.15 42,436.43
45,000.00 — 49,999.99 6,542,882 113,532,654 71.77126 310,391,706,424.23 47,439.60
50,000.00 — 54,999.99 5,723,269 119,255,923 75.38931 300,016,377,448.51 52,420.46
55,000.00 — 59,999.99 4,846,517 124,102,440 78.45310 278,354,367,841.41 57,433.90
60,000.00 — 64,999.99 4,201,232 128,303,672 81.10897 262,203,932,128.68 62,411.20
65,000.00 — 69,999.99 3,573,471 131,877,143 83.36799 240,948,179,180.40 67,426.93
70,000.00 — 74,999.99 3,094,739 134,971,882 85.32437 224,145,278,103.36 72,427.85
75,000.00 — 79,999.99 2,684,481 137,656,363 87.02140 207,853,372,824.62 77,427.77
80,000.00 — 84,999.99 2,297,338 139,953,701 88.47370 189,370,862,869.17 82,430.56
85,000.00 — 89,999.99 1,975,400 141,929,101 89.72248 172,719,042,418.70 87,434.97
90,000.00 — 94,999.99 1,714,370 143,643,471 90.80624 158,442,931,588.44 92,420.50
95,000.00 — 99,999.99 1,486,636 145,130,107 91.74604 144,858,203,365.61 97,440.26
100,000.00 — 104,999.99 1,309,068 146,439,175 92.57358 134,083,282,259.67 102,426.52
105,000.00 — 109,999.99 1,117,128 147,556,303 93.27979 120,020,513,136.11 107,436.67
110,000.00 — 114,999.99 977,055 148,533,358 93.89745 109,855,105,705.14 112,434.93
115,000.00 — 119,999.99 865,889 149,399,247 94.44483 101,693,061,676.62 117,443.53
120,000.00 — 124,999.99 773,339 150,172,586 94.93371 94,660,281,091.31 122,404.64
125,000.00 — 129,999.99 673,971 150,846,557 95.35977 85,886,152,964.93 127,433.01
130,000.00 — 134,999.99 595,827 151,442,384 95.73643 78,899,843,713.01 132,420.73
135,000.00 — 139,999.99 527,341 151,969,725 96.06980 72,476,546,845.30 137,437.72
140,000.00 — 144,999.99 466,992 152,436,717 96.36501 66,519,743,635.12 142,443.00
145,000.00 — 149,999.99 419,003 152,855,720 96.62989 61,787,674,520.19 147,463.56
150,000.00 — 154,999.99 384,581 153,240,301 96.87301 58,607,775,121.57 152,393.84
155,000.00 — 159,999.99 335,391 153,575,692 97.08503 52,801,735,517.69 157,433.37
160,000.00 — 164,999.99 296,048 153,871,740 97.27218 48,087,213,596.86 162,430.46
165,000.00 — 169,999.99 265,309 154,137,049 97.43990 44,426,198,104.69 167,450.78
170,000.00 — 174,999.99 239,515 154,376,564 97.59131 41,304,379,348.95 172,450.07
175,000.00 — 179,999.99 216,255 154,592,819 97.72802 38,370,042,895.27 177,429.62
180,000.00 — 184,999.99 200,592 154,793,411 97.85483 36,588,064,085.78 182,400.42
185,000.00 — 189,999.99 179,005 154,972,416 97.96799 33,554,727,208.93 187,451.34
190,000.00 — 194,999.99 165,277 155,137,693 98.07247 31,807,897,759.84 192,452.05
195,000.00 — 199,999.99 154,070 155,291,763 98.16987 30,425,466,536.83 197,478.20
200,000.00 — 249,999.99 1,039,897 156,331,660 98.82726 230,863,458,226.21 222,006.08
250,000.00 — 299,999.99 565,105 156,896,765 99.18450 153,945,762,663.99 272,419.75
300,000.00 — 349,999.99 333,584 157,230,349 99.39537 107,708,119,615.81 322,881.55
350,000.00 — 399,999.99 219,923 157,450,272 99.53440 82,117,070,706.61 373,390.10
400,000.00 — 449,999.99 151,162 157,601,434 99.62996 63,997,346,472.50 423,369.28
450,000.00 — 499,999.99 108,881 157,710,315 99.69879 51,583,042,398.64 473,756.14
500,000.00 — 999,999.99 345,935 158,056,250 99.91748 230,331,407,862.96 665,822.79
1,000,000.00 — 1,499,999.99 65,548 158,121,798 99.95892 78,672,933,288.58 1,200,233.92
1,500,000.00 — 1,999,999.99 24,140 158,145,938 99.97418 41,431,838,733.52 1,716,314.78
2,000,000.00 — 2,499,999.99 12,137 158,158,075 99.98185 26,997,226,154.27 2,224,373.91
2,500,000.00 — 2,999,999.99 6,871 158,164,946 99.98619 18,747,446,313.27 2,728,488.77
3,000,000.00 — 3,499,999.99 4,799 158,169,745 99.98923 15,507,304,422.66 3,231,361.62
3,500,000.00 — 3,999,999.99 3,258 158,173,003 99.99129 12,166,741,762.34 3,734,420.43
4,000,000.00 — 4,499,999.99 2,353 158,175,356 99.99277 9,970,953,222.98 4,237,549.18
4,500,000.00 — 4,999,999.99 1,822 158,177,178 99.99393 8,633,941,395.34 4,738,716.46
5,000,000.00 — 9,999,999.99 6,468 158,183,646 99.99802 43,887,775,808.42 6,785,370.41
10,000,000.00 — 19,999,999.99 2,230 158,185,876 99.99942 30,065,006,121.19 13,482,065.53
20,000,000.00 — 49,999,999.99 776 158,186,652 99.99992 22,450,911,983.01 28,931,587.61
50,000,000.00 and over 134 158,186,786 100.00000 11,564,829,969.82 86,304,701.27

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