A substantial number of people earning below the median did not work full-time throughout the year—33 percent of people earned less than $15,000, roughly the amount a full-time minimum-wage worker makes. But, as we know, there are close to 10 million people in the country who are working part-time involuntarily, because they can't find full-time work. And there are many more who were employed full-time for part of the year before being laid off and having their annual income pushed down by a period of unemployment.
Then there are the people who didn't earn anything:
3.3 percent of people who had a job in 2007, or one in every 30, went all of 2010 without earning a dollar.
In addition to the 5.2 million people who no longer have any work add roughly 4.5 million people who, due to population growth, would normally join the workforce in three years and you have close to 10 million workers who did not find even an hour of paid work in 2010.
But, Johnston notes, the number of people making $1 million or more went from 78,000 to nearly 94,000, rebounding toward its 2007 number of 110,000. So don't say there's no good news in this data. For a few people, in fact, there's very good news. And it's them Republicans are fighting for, as always.