US Households Continue to Bleed


FromUnconventionalEconomist, who has previouslyworkedattheAustralianTreasury, VictorianTreasuryandGoldmanSachs. OriginallypublishedatMacroBusiness

Two former Census Bureau officials working at Sentier Research have released a new report claiming that median US household income is recovering, but remains 6.5% below its pre-recession level in real (inflation adjusted) terms:

After adjusting for changes in consumer prices, median annual household income declined during the officially-defined recession from $55,480 in December 2007 to $54,478 in June 2009. During the “economic recovery”, as the unemployment rate and the duration of unemployment remained high, median annual household income continued its decline, reaching a low point of $50,722 in August 2011. As of June 2013 median household income had recovered somewhat to $52,098 (seasonally adjusted estimates).

What is arguably more disturbing is the fact that real median household income is now 7.2% below its January 2000 level:

Compared to January 2000, the beginning point for our monthly statistical series, median annual household income is now lower by 7.2 percent. (All income amounts in this report are before-tax money income and are presented in terms of June 2013 dollars).

Moreover, virtually all groups have been adversely affected by the slump:

Based on our data, almost every group is worse off now than it was four years ago, with the exception of households with householders 65 to 74 years old. For some groups of householders—Blacks, men living alone, young and upper-middle age brackets, part-time workers, the unemployed, females with children present, and those with only a high school degree or some college but no degree—the declines have tended to be larger than average. Changes in educational attainment during the economic recovery have played a key role in the findings, as we describe in the report.”

So much for the much celebrated US economic recovery.

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Lambert here: Mission accomplished!

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