Thursday, September 26, 2013

Household Income Stable in August 2013

Median annual household income was stable in August 2013, according to the latest monthly update from Sentier Research. The August median of $52,236 was not statistically different from the July median, after adjusting for inflation.  

Sentier extracts its income data from the Current Population Survey, just as the Census Bureau does. From Sentier, we get monthly updates of median household income. From the Census Bureau, we get an annual update—usually released in September of the following year. By tracking Sentier's monthly updates, you pretty much know in advance what the Census Bureau will report in its annual update. Sentier has already revealed trends in median household income through August 2013 (finding no trend at all). With only four months left in the year, it's likely that the Census Bureau's annual update next September will report little to no change in median household income for 2013. 

In fact, according to Sentier, there has been no change in household income since December 2011. "Since December 2011, we have been in a period of income stagnation without any clear trend of direction," says Sentier's Gordon Green. Median household income in August 2013 was 4.4 percent below the median of June 2009, the end of the Great Recession. It was 6.1 percent lower than the median in December 2007, the start of the Great Recession. It was 7.2 percent lower than the median in January 2000. 

The Household Income Index for August 2013 was 92.8 (January 2000 = 100.0). The index compares median annual household income in a given month as a percent of its value in January 2000, after adjusting for inflation. An Excel spreadsheet of the entire household income time series is available from Sentier's web site for $25.00.

Source: Sentier Research, Trends in Household Income: August 2013

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