Economy

Americans' incomes rise, but annual gains are slowing

Americans' incomes rise, but annual gains are slowing

The stunning report says the median USA household income reached $61,372 past year, meaning half of Americans are earning more than they did during the previous high reached in 1999.

Median U.S. household income rose in 2017 despite falling inflation-adjusted earnings for full-time workers as the American economy continued its recovery from the 2008 recession, according to U.S. Census Bureau data released Wednesday.

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. While that marks the third consecutive year of income gains, the rate of increase was considerably slower than in the last two years of the Obama administration.

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The report showed that the poverty rate - the percentage of people living in poverty - fell to 12.3 percent previous year from 12.7 percent in 2016. The percentage of people without health-insurance coverage for the entire 2017 calendar year was 8.8%, or 28.5 million, not statistically different from 2016.

"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 increase in household income over the past year comes as the poverty rate in America has declined and more Americans are participating in the workforce.


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