Public pension systems showed positive earnings on investments for the second consecutive year in 2011 and exceeded pre-recession levels for the first time, the Census Bureau said Thursday.

Earnings on investments in 2011, the most recent year for which data is available, totaled $479.6 billion, a 38.6% increase from the 2010 earnings of $346.1 billion, according to the Census Bureau’s annual survey of public pensions.

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