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Household Incomes Rise for 3rd Year as Poverty Falls Under Trump

Household Incomes Rise for 3rd Year as Poverty Falls Under Trump
(Mariusz Blach/Dreamstime)

By    |   Wednesday, 12 September 2018 12:02 PM

The median U.S. household income rose for a third straight year in 2017 and the poverty rate declined further, government data showed on Wednesday.

The Census Bureau says incomes for a typical household, adjusted for inflation, rose 1.8 percent, from $60,309 in 2016 to $61,372.

The Census Bureau said in its Income, Poverty and Health Insurance Coverage and Supplemental Poverty Measure report that about 28.5 million residents did not have health insurance in 2017, not statistically different from the previous year.

The report also showed the poverty rate — the percentage of people living in poverty — fell to 12.3 percent last year from 12.7 percent in 2016.

Yet households are still earning essentially the same income they did in 2007 just before the Great Recession. Their inflation-adjusted median income remains below the record for a typical household - the $62,000 reached in 1999.

Last year, the number of people with jobs rose 1.7 million. And the number of workers with full-time permanent jobs increased 2.4 million. For years after the recession ended in 2009, the number of part-time workers who would have preferred full-time jobs remained elevated.

Meanwhile, the Gini index, the most common measure of income inequality, was 0.482 in 2017, little changed from 2016. The higher the number, the more unequal the income distribution.

Americans continue to see their lot improve as the economy builds on the progress made since it emerged from the recession in mid-2009, accompanied by healthy hiring and an unemployment rate near the lowest in almost five decades. At the same time, 10 years after the financial crisis marked by the collapse of Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc., the large number of poor people and persistent inequality are a reminder that there’s more work to be done.

The report could still be welcome news for Republicans ahead of the congressional midterm elections in November, and President Donald Trump’s tax cuts implemented in 2018 may further boost growth, though his trade policy remains a risk for the economy, creating uncertainty for businesses and for employment.

Even with the better picture on overall incomes, disparities between groups persisted last year. Median earnings for men rose 3 percent to $44,408, while women earned $31,610, just 0.2 percent above 2016. Racial gaps widened, with the median income for black households down 0.2 percent to $40,258, while non-Hispanic white household income rose 2.6 percent to $68,145. Hispanic households fared better, with a 3.7 percent jump to $50,486.

Material from Bloomberg, Reuters and the Associated Press were used in this report.

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The median U.S. household income rose for a third straight year in 2017 and the poverty rate declined further, government data showed on Wednesday.
median, household, income, census, poverty
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2018-02-12
Wednesday, 12 September 2018 12:02 PM
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