Last month Sentier Research played a leading role in a New York Times story about a potential rise in median household income after years of stagnation following the Great Recession. Sentier's monthly estimates have shown median household income to be significantly higher in 2015 than in 2014, after adjusting for inflation. Next week we will find out whether Sentier and the Times are right about this, when the Census Bureau releases the official 2015 income estimates.
Meanwhile, Sentier is halfway through 2016 with its median household income estimates, and the story is still positive. Median household income in July 2016 stood at $57,190. This was not significantly different from the June 2016 median, after adjusting for inflation, but it was 1.7 percent higher than the July 2015 median and 9.3 percent above the $52,320 median of August 2011—the low point in Sentier's household income series.
"There has been a general upward trend in median household income since the post-recession low point reached in August 2011," reports Sentier. Its median household income estimates are derived from the Census Bureau's monthly Current Population Survey.
Median household income in July 2016 was 2.0 percent higher than the median of June 2009, which marked the end of the Great Recession. It was not significantly different from the median of December 2007, the start of the Great Recession. The July 2016 median was 1.1 percent below the median of January 2000. The Household Income Index for July was 98.9 (January 2000 = 100.0).
Source: Sentier Research, Household Income Trends: July 2016