NC State Ag Economist Dr. Mike Walden – “Is there Good News on Household Incomes?”

Mary:  I’m Mary Walden with economist MW, welcoming you to the economic perspective.  Today’s program asks if there is good news on household incomes.  Mike, the US Census Bureau just released its numbers for household incomes in 2016 and I understand there is both good news and bad news.  Fill us in.

Mike:  Summary Answer

  1. The good news is that average – median – household incomes have now recovered all their losses from the two recessions since 2000
  2. Median household income is now $59,000, after adjusting for inflation, and is a record high
  3. However, bad news when look at income changes by categories
  4. Incomes of households in the lower 30% of the income distribution are still lower today than in 2000, although they are higher than their low point during the 2007-09 recession
  5. In contrast, incomes of higher income households have increased much more than median incomes
  6. In short – there has been unequal income gains by households of different income levels
  7. I’m MW

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