Median household income rises despite falling full-time earnings

Diego Perez works on a Toll Brothers home

Diego Perez works on a Toll Brothers home

Crossing the $61,000 mark was important as it signals the American middle-class is finally earning more than it did in 1999. Households can vary in size from a single person to multiple adults and children residing under the same roof, but the average USA household has 2.6 people.

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. Median household income is generally viewed as the best gauge of how a typical middle-class home is faring financially.

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.

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"In 2015 and 2016, income growth was stronger and broad-based, with growth for low- and middle-income households tracking overall growth".

Much of these gains in household income and workforce participation come as the economy's strength continues to climb in 2018.

Analysts say this number shows a trend of declining poverty that has persisted since 2014 under the tenure of former President Barack Obama. The U.S. economy has added jobs each month since October 2010, and the unemployment rate dropped below 4 percent in April.

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