Our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy have changed.

By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to the new Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.

How the economy is really doing

These five indicators do a good job of showing what's really going on -- and what it feels like -- out there.

2 of 5
BACKNEXT
Income
Income
SCORE: 5.3*
There are many ways to look at what's happening to personal income in the U.S.; I like one by the Pew Charitable Trusts' Economic Mobility Project, which compares the incomes of men and women of various ages with those of earlier peers. What the numbers show is that inflation-adjusted income in general is well below its peak, and that for men, the picture is particularly bleak. (As the percentage of women in the workforce has increased dramatically over 30 years, they've done better.)

For men and women combined, personal income ebbed in 1982 during another particularly nasty recession, the Pew data show. Income, like the employment rate, peaked in the tech boom, which treated men and women more equally than earlier booms had.

Alas, by 2010 personal income for men and women combined had fallen about 10% from that high. And as a result of the "mancession," which claimed millions of construction and manufacturing jobs, men last year hit their lowest income levels since 1982.


NEXT: Savings
Last updated March 02 2011: 5:21 PM ET
* Score is on a scale of 1-10 against their best (10) and worst (1) results since 1980.
Overnight Avg Rate Latest Change Last Week
30 yr fixed3.79%3.74%
15 yr fixed2.99%2.97%
5/1 ARM3.18%3.11%
30 yr refi3.78%3.73%
15 yr refi2.99%2.97%
Rate data provided
by Bankrate.com
View rates in your area
 
Find personalized rates:
More Galleries
5 great day trips from Sydney Standout escapes just a short journey from Australia's largest city. More
New cameras go weird, wearable - even old school Meet the new crop of digital cameras, an eclectic group each with a very particular set of skills. More
Exploring 10 great cities for business in Asia From Shanghai to Tokyo, Mumbai to Hong Kong, here's how to make the most of the days between the deadlines. More

Special Offer