Median U.S. Household Income Rose in 2017, Considered Highest on Record

The median U.S. household income rose for the third year in a row in 2017, according to data from the U.S. Census Bureau released Wednesday. The Census data showed that median household income increased in 2017 to $61,372, an increase of 1.8 percent after taking inflation into account, and is considered to be the highest on record. Although the household income level is considered to be the highest ever recorded, census officials say it is about the same, when adjusted for inflation, as in 1999 and 2007. The median household income also rose for the third year in a row, although the growth rate increased 3.2 percent in 2016 and 5.2 percent in 2015. 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. The poverty rate dropped to 12.3 percent, marking a decrease in the poverty rate for the third year in a row, while the number of Americans working full-time jobs went up by 2.4 million in 2017. “We’re continuing to see that shift from part-time, part-year work to year-round, full-time work,” Trudi Renwick, an economist at the Census Bureau, told the Wall Street Journal. Much of these gains in household income and workforce participation come as the economy’s strength continues to climb in 2018. The American economy added 201,000 jobs in August 2018 and the unemployment rate has stayed low at 3.9 percent. Jobless claims also fell to a record-low of 203,000—the lowest level for claims since 1969. The 2017 data on median household income also does not fully include the effects of President Trump’s tax cuts instituted at the end of 2017, which caused incomes to rise in 2018 through the initial tax cuts and the tax reform bonuses many companies provided to their employees.

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