The State of America’s Private Sector 26: August, 2011

On Friday the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Economic Analysis released their monthly personal income data for August 2011 (pdf). The chart below shows the private sector share of personal income from January 1959 to June 2011. For August, the private sector share of personal income was 70.74 percent–up 0.04 percentage points from July. While the trend has been up for the last few months, the current level is still well below the pre-Great Recession level of 74.48 percent in June 2007.

Chart Showing Private Sector Share of Personal Income in August 2011

However, while the private sector has been gaining ground, there is other less rosy news. The chart below shows, on a monthly basis, the contributions paid into Social Security and Medicare (red line) via the payroll tax versus the benefits paid-out by Social Security and Medicare (green line). In August, the gap between the two set an all-time record of $348.2 billion–more benefits being paid than taxes being collected.

Chart Showing Growing Gap Between Contributions and Benefits for Social Security and Medicare August 2011