ORLANDO (CBS4) – If you’re finding it tougher to make ends meet now than a few years ago, you’re not alone.

According to new Census data released Thursday, Floridians’ income has dropped more than 7 percent over the past three years. In 2007, the median household income in the state was almost $48,000. Last year the median household income was a little over $44,000.

Economist Sean Snaith with the University of Central Florida told the Associated Press that the state’s high unemployment rate, 10.7 percent in August, combined with the housing boom and bust contributed to the disappearing income.  Not only did Floridians lose wages but they also lost the ability to take out home equity loans or earn income from buying or selling investment properties.

“People were making money flipping, buying and selling real estate, so that was bolstering income,” Snaith said. “People who weren’t involved with that still saw their home equity rise and they were able to tap into that money and spend more. Now those sources have dried up.”

Florida’s income drop was the second largest in the nation; Nevada had the steepest drop at 7.3 percent. Nevada residents, however, earned more with median household incomes averaging $55,000 in 2007 and $51,000 in 2010.

Nationally, the median household income declined by only about 1.3 percent. It went from $50,700 in 2007 to just over $50,000 last year.

(TM and © Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2010 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)


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