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Robert Trigaux

Census bureau: Florida's median income suffers 3.9% decline, biggest drop in U.S. in 2008




Wake up and hold on to your wallet.

New census data show Florida's median annual income fell by $1,860 to $47,800 in 2008 from 2007.

That's a 3.9 percent decline and is the steepest decline in the nation, an unfortunate No. 1 spot for Florida reflecting how badly the recession has damaged the Sunshine State and how much harder it will be to crawl back to a more competitive status.

This will come as no surprise to many Floridians who have taken to emailing me about their appalling wages and the lower pay they now receive after having lost one decent job and being forced (if they are lucky) in such a job-lean time to find a lesser position.

The photo above was taken Monday at the job fair held at the Coliseum in St. Petersburg by St. Petersburg Times photographer Kathleen Flynn. These hopeful job hunters wait in line to talk to a representative from Kelly Services. Malay Saycocie (third in line clutching the blue folder) previously worked in an assembly line for about 20 years up North making $17 a hour. Here, she was only able to find temp work for $8 an hour. There were more than 30 employers at the job fair.

Florida's leading the nation in falling median income comes from the Census Bureau's American Community Survey and from analysis by Brookings Institution demographer William Frey. Nationally, the median annual income fell in 27 states. As a whole, U.S. income fell 1.2 percent in 2008 from 2007. Find more information in this Wall Street Journal story. Here are the top income-losing states in '08 from '07:

* Florida, $47,800, down 3.9 percent

* Montana, $43,654, down 3.0 percent.

* Indiana, $47,966, down 2.8 percent.

* Maine, $46,581, down 2.5 percent.

* Arkansas, $38,815, down 2.1 percent.

* California, $61,021, down 2.0 percent.

* United States, $52,029, down 1.2 percent.

-- Robert Trigaux, Times Business Columnist

[Last modified: Tuesday, June 1, 2010 11:26am]


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