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Income inequality reality check

A new study shows a third of U.S. bank tellers rely on public assistance. CNBC's Kayla Tausche reports the 540,000 bank tellers make an average of roughly $26,000. Robert Frank breaks down the wealth gap in the U.S.

Millions of public dollars go to support low-wage bank tellers, who rely on some form of assistance to get by, according to data, The Washington Post reported Wednesday.

About $900 million a year in taxpayer money goes to bank tellers, which indirectly becomes a subsidy for the multibillion-dollar bank industry.

The bank workers collect $534 million through Medicaid and the Children's Health Insurance Program, $250 million through the earned income tax credit and $105 million in food stamps, according to the Labor Center at the University of California at Berkeley, the newspaper reported.

The center submitted its data to the Committee for Better Banks, a coalition that released a report Wednesday. The committee spoke with 5,000 tellers about workplace conditions, the article said.

(Read more: Billions aside, JPMorgan may have a good deal)

"This is the wealthiest and most powerful industry in the world, and it's substantially subsidized by our tax dollars, money that we could be spending on child care or pre-K," Deborah Axt told The Washington Post.


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