So you know how the recession has supposedly been "over" since June 2009 even though it really doesn't feel like it? There is a reason for that and it isn't just that we've got unemployment hovering around nine percent. Two former Census officials have just released research that shows that the "Real median annual household income has fallen significantly more during the economic recovery period from June 2009 to June 2011 than during the recession lasting from December 2007 to June 2009." In particular? Since 2007, the real median annual household income has dropped by 9.8 percent.

There are a few reasons to explain the drop in household income, though none of them are particularly pleasant. The biggest, however, seems to come down to jobs, jobs, jobs. According to another study, "people who lost jobs in the recession and later found work again made an average of 17.5 percent less than they had in their old jobs." While the hourly pay of employed people has been steady or dropped in that time, the price of things like oil products and foods have not. Further, the average length of time a person who lost a job remains unemployed keeps on rising: in September it reached a 60-year-high of 40.5 weeks!

The decline in household income has not hurt everyone equally though. Households headed by people aged 65-74, who aren't really in the work force as much, saw their income rise 4.7 percent in that time. And while private-sector and government-sector workers saw their real median annual income decline 4.3 and 3.9 percent, respectively, the self-employed have been much harder hit. They've seen a drop of 12.3 percent.

All of which makes folk's concerns that they've been forgotten by the American dream seem, well, kind of reasonable.