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The Middle Class Is Finally Bouncing Back

The median income has finally surpassed wages from the 1999s. Top earners are still taking home most of the nation's income.
Posted at 3:44 PM, Sep 15, 2017

Reports from President Obama's last year in office show incomes are up. The median income is hovering at $59,000. 

The last time it was nearly that high was almost two decades ago — long before the Great Recession. For the middle class and the working poor, this has been a very slow recovery. The top earners, on the other hand, have bounced back.

"Most of the growth we're seeing in the economy is going to the top 20 percent and, in particular, the top 5 percent of America," Washington Post reporter Heather Long says. "Those people are getting a bigger part of the pie."

Those Americans are now earning more than half of the nation's income.

They've bounced back from the recession faster and are earning a record high — almost half — of the nations income. It's TBD whether these gains for the wealthy will trickle down long term.

Long says a growth in the middle class may be better down the line. 

"When middle class folks get extra money, they usually go out and spend it. They need to pay their rent and buy their groceries. When the wealthy get their money, they might go get another property. But a lot of the time, their money goes into the bank or the stock market. It is usually more helpful to see the middle class grow because we know those dollars are going to go right back into the economy," she says. 

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