USA incomes rose but inequality widened in 2017

Marco Green
September 13, 2018

American households recorded median income of $61,372 last year, which marked the first full year of the Trump administration.

A help wanted sign is posted at a taco stand in Solana Beach, California, U.S., July 17, 2017.

The median USA household earned $61,400 a year ago, meaning half of the families in the country brought in more income than this and half earned less.

The 2017 median income is the highest level reported by the Census Bureau, but the agency changed the methodology used to calculate the figure in 2013, complicating comparisons to prior years.

Real median earnings of all male workers increased 3.0 percent in 2017 while the earnings of female counterparts stayed stagnant. The poverty rate inched down 0.4 percentage point.

"While any reduction in poverty or increase in income is a step in the right direction, most families have just barely made up the ground lost over the past decade", said Elise Gould, senior economist at the Washington-based Economic Policy Institute.

The Census report showed the poverty threshold in 2017 was an income of $24,858 for a family of four.

Middle-class household income has been rising steadily in recent years as the economy has rebounded from the deep recession and millions of Americans have found jobs again. The U.S. economy has added jobs each month since October 2010, and the unemployment rate dropped below 4 percent in April.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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