While the U.S. economy has shown signs of recovery since the Great Recession, inequality among America’s 33 million working families has increased. The unemployment rate has fallen from a post-recession high of 9.6 percent in 2010 to 4.4 percent in 2017—the lowest level since 2000. However, gains at the lower end of the income spectrum have been slower than those at the top.
In 2016, the top 20 percent of working families received more than 10 times the total income received by the bottom 20 percent of working families. To put this another way, the richest 20 percent of working families took home nearly half (49 percent) of all income, while those in the bottom 20 percent received less than 5 percent of the economic pie.