Income inequality has been expanding, with almost all, 95 percent, of the income gains going to the top one percent in income during President Barack Obama's first term, 2009 to 2012, according to a new report by University of California at Berkeley researcher Emmanuel Saez.
Average income grew 6 percent, with most of those gains, 4.6 percent, in the last two years, 2011 to 2012. Those gains, though, "were very uneven," wrote Saez, professor of economics and director of the Center for Equitable Growth. The top one percent in income grew 31.4 percent while the bottom 99 percent grew only 0.4 percent. "Hence, the top 1% captured 95% of the income gains in the first three years of the recovery."
For comparison, Saez says that income inequality is at it highest level since the 1920's, just before the Great Depression.