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Poverty Level Remains at 15 Percent

b_250_0_16777215_00_images_obgrabber_2013-09_ff70b2fb1b.jpgComstock Images/Thinkstock (WASHINGTON) -- If the economy is improving, tens of millions of Americans aren't seeing it happening for them. The Census Bureau reported Tuesday that the poverty level, considered an annual income of $23,492 for a family of four, remained at about 15 percent in 2012. That means 46.5 million Americans, or one in seven people, are poor.  That's close to the peak level of 15.2 percent reached in 1983.

The situation has been pretty much the same over the past six years.  Before the Great Recession fully took hold in 2007, the U.S. poverty level was at 12.5 percent.

Things aren't so good either for Americans who make enough to get by but are still living paycheck-to-paycheck.

The country's median household income has stagnated at $51,017 in 2012.  That was essentially unchanged from 2011 and is down 8.3. percent from 2007.

Analysts say that companies still aren't hiring and that most of the job growth has been in traditionally lower paying jobs such as retail and restaurants.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

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