A report authored by University of California, Berkeley, economist Emmanuel Saez says U.S. incomes rose 1.7 percent overall in data that include 2011, The New York Times reported Saturday.
Lawrence Mishel, president of the non-profit, non-partisan Economic Policy Institute, a left-leaning think tank in Washington, told the newspaper the way the top 1 percent and the bottom 99 percent earn money accounts for much of the disparity -- with the wealthy cashing in on stock market growth and wage earners paying the price for high unemployment.
"That high unemployment we know depresses wage growth throughout the wage scale," Mishel said, "but more so for the bottom than the middle and the middle than the top."
Saez said "the Great Recession has only depressed top income shares temporarily and will not undo any of the dramatic increase in top income shares that has taken place since the 1970s."
Saez's report suggests the income-growth figures for 2012 will resemble those for 2011.