The poverty rate in NYC jumped almost a full percentage point to nearly 21 percent, according to new census data being released today. And you may not be surprised to know that this disturbing stat goes hand-in-hand with another: the rich got richer. Also, dogs bit men. Crunching the numbers, the Times reports that the income disparity was most stark on the island of Manhattan, where "the wealthiest fifth of Manhattanites made more than 40 times what the lowest fifth reported, a widening gap (it was 38 times, the year before) surpassed by only a few developing countries, including Namibia and Sierra Leone."

The median household income in New York was $49,461 in 2011, compared with the national figure of $50,502. Median earnings for workers fell to $32,210 from $33,287, also worse than the rest of the country. On the plus side, some people are doing very well, like local public servant Michael Bloomberg, whose fortune grew 28 percent to $25 billion last year, making him the 10th richest person in America. The Times article burrows further into a damp dark warren of despair:

Except for a decline in the poverty rate among children under 5, virtually every indicator was grim and suggested growing inequality. Poverty rates rose most among Hispanic people, New Yorkers over age 65, married couples, residents of Manhattan and Queens, and those without a high school diploma... Nearly 1.7 million city residents were officially classified as poor, or with an income of less than $18,530 for a family of three. Some 750,000 were subsisting on less than half the poverty level. The proportion receiving food stamps increased to 20.6 percent from 19.3.

"To see the poverty rate jump almost a full percentage point is not a good sign,” says David R. Jones, president of the Community Service Society of New York, and nominee for the Understatement of the Year Award. Well, at least this should result in more jobs for Panic Room construction workers. And we can all take comfort in knowing our homeless shelters are actually quite pleasurable.