October 26, 2015
Fifty-one percent of working Americans make less than $30,000 a year, new data from the Social Security Administration (SSA) shows.
That’s $2,500 a month before taxes and just over the federal poverty level for a family of five. The new numbers come from the National Wage Index, which SSA updates each year based on reported wages subject to the federal income tax.
In 2014, half of working Americans reported an income at or below $28,851 (the median wage), and 51 percent reported an income of less than $30,000. Forty percent are making less than $20,000. The federal government considers a family of four living on an income of less than $24,250 to be impoverished.
A chart below from SSA shows that the difference between the median wage and the average wage continues to widen, signaling a declining middle class. These numbers are not adjusted for inflation.