Thursday, September 13, 2018

The Rising Tide Is Not Lifting All Boats

Is there something to worry about here? Median household income grew 1.8 percent between 2016 and 2017, after adjusting for inflation. This gain was well below the increases recorded in the previous two years—3.8 percent between 2015-16 and 5.2 percent between 2014-15. That's not the only bad news in the latest income data. Many segments of the population are being left behind...

Young adults: Householders under age 25 lost ground between 2016 and 2017, their median income falling by 5.8 percent after adjusting for inflation. Those aged 25 to 34 barely kept pace with a tiny 0.1 percent increase.

Blacks: Black households are treading water. Their median income did not grow at all between 2016 and 2017. At the same time, the median income of households headed by non-Hispanic Whites grew 2.6 percent, and the Hispanic median rose by an even larger 3.7 percent.

Workers: Perhaps most disturbing, the earnings of full-time workers—both men and women—fell 1.1 percent between 2016 and 2017. With the earnings of full-time workers declining, it will be much harder for household income to continue to grow.

Source: Census Bureau, Income and Poverty in the United States: 2017

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