Hmmm, this is bad news. Median household income fell in December 2016 to $57,827—a substantial 1 percent lower than the November 2016 median, after adjusting for inflation.
"The December decline in median annual household income wipes out most of the increase in income that had been evident since May 2016 and returns it to a level of income that is not significantly different than that at the beginning of the great recession," reports Sentier Research. The December 2016 median was 0.9 percent below the December 2015 median. It was 9.1 percent above the $53,019 median of August 2011, the low point in Sentier's household income series.
"Not only has median annual household income in 2016 not been able to maintain the momentum that it achieved during 2015," says Sentier's Gordon Green, but "it slipped by a formidable 1.0 percent in our latest reading for December. We continue to monitor the course of inflation, as this has a significant effect on the trend in real median annual household income." Sentier's median household income estimates are derived from the Census Bureau's monthly Current Population Survey.
Median household income in December 2016 was 1.8 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 December 2016 median is 1.3 percent below the median of January 2000. The Household Income Index in December 2016 was 98.7 (January 2000 = 100.0).
Source: Sentier Research, Household Income Trends: December 2016