June 12 2012

Down Economy Leads to Drop in Family Wealth

Sabrina Schaeffer

The Federal Reserve released a report on Monday revealing that the average American family’s net worth dropped nearly 40 percent between 2007 and 2010. In real numbers this is a drop from $126,400 in 2007 to $77,300 in 2010. As the report explains, the recent recession generated a loss of almost two decades worth of family savings and investment.

The bulk of the loss was a function of the sharp drop in home values. In 2007 the median homeowner had a net worth of $246,000, while by 2010 the number had fallen to $70,000. And the problem was exacerbated in certain parts of the country, like the south and the west, where the housing market experienced dramatic declines.

Unfortunately, this is just another statistic to add to a growing list of negative numbers. The fact is the national debt has swelled to nearly $16 trillion; unemployment is back to 8.2%; and the May jobs report revealed that private business created only 69,000 jobs last month – the fewest in a year.

And the down economy is having a big impact on public opinion. Poll after poll shows that the country believes we are headed in the wrong direction. In fact, President Obama’s job approval has dropped to 48% -- and strong approval is down to 28%.

Unfortunately the president seems out of touch when it comes to talking about the economy. In fact, just this week he declared, the “private sector is doing just fine.”

Clearly, it’s not.

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