NC State Ag Economist Dr. Mike Walden – “How Are We Doing?


Mary:  This is Mary Walden with economist MW, welcoming you to the economic perspective.  Today’s program asks, how are we doing?  Mike, there appears to be a general feeling that many households are stuck economically.  They simply are not seeing their standard of living improve.  Do the numbers support this?

Mike:  Summary Answer

  1. If look at average wages or salaries, then yes – see little improvement after adjust for the cost-of-living for a couple of decades
  2. But a new study from NBER took a different approach and looked at what households had, and focused on a few key items
  3. Found vehicles per household for above average, average, and below average income households rose from 1960 to 1990, but has stalled since then
  4. Same results for households with indoor plumbing – but 100% hit in 1990
  5. Different for bedrooms per household – has continued to trend upward since 1960
  6. And big upward trend since 1990 in bathrooms per household
  7. So housing consumption appears to have improved
  8. I’m MW

Mary: And I’m Mary Walden for N C State Extension