Minorities and Americans without college degrees showed greatest gains in wealth since 2013, new data says

By Heather Long and Tracy Jan

Job seekers fill out employment applications during a Job News USA career fair in Jeffersonville, Ind., on Sept. 20. (Photo by Luke Sharrett/Bloomberg)

Nearly all Americans have now emerged from the Great Recession — with African American and Hispanic families and Americans without high school diplomas showing the greatest gains over the last three years, according to new data released Wednesday from the Federal Reserve.

It’s a sign that the recovery from the devastating Great Recession and financial crisis of 2008 is picking up as more people are able to get jobs, pay off debt and invest more.

Household wealth for African-American and Hispanic families and Americans without high school diplomas rose the fastest from 2013 to 2016, according to the Fed’s Survey of Consumer Finances, which surveys over 6,000 households about their pay, debt and other finances.

Every slice of America — from young to old and rich to poor — saw their incomes grow and the value of stocks, homes and other assets climb.

But the Fed was also quick to point out growing inequality between the mega rich and everyone else, and between whites and non-whites.

The share of America’s income held by the top 1 percent of households reached 24 percent in 2016, a record high.

Overall, however, the gains of the last three years marked a dramatic shift from the period between 2010 and 2013, when wealth fell for all racial and ethnic groups except whites.

“We’re glad the recovery is spreading to a lot of households,” Fed economists said Wednesday.

The economists didn’t elaborate on what caused the widespread gains, but they did note that the unemployment rate has fallen substantially in recent years from 7.5 percent to 5 percent last year.

The median net worth of white …read more