Editor's note: The last three years have decimated the middle class, leaving behind a trail of foreclosures, joblessness and devastated wealth. To illustrate the range of suffering, Michael Snyder, editor of editor of The Economic Collapse blog, assembled a collection of statistics that paint a full picture of the crisis.
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The figures below measure both the impact of the recession and the aftermath. For example, not only did household wealth decline 25% during the recession, but also foreclosures and bankruptcies have continued to steamroll average families even as the economy has grown for more than a year.
As you read this, millions of parents across the country are trying to explain to their children why their homes are being taken away. Even more are waiting to hear from hundreds of resumes sent into an economy that's barely producing jobs. Many cities are dealing with housing vacancies and unemployment not seen in decades.
The average American family is under more economic stress right now than at any other time since the Great Depression. Here are 16 statistics that explain how and why.