Nearly 70 percent of millennials in a study reported being anxious over their income. Buzz60’s Angeli Kakade (@angelikakade) has the details.
Americans notched solid financial gains in 2016 for a second straight year after prolonged stagnation as household incomes rose, poverty fell and fewer people went without health insurance.
The median U.S. household income increased 3.2% to $59,039, the Census Bureau said Tuesday. That followed a 5.2% increase in 2015, the largest on records dating to 1968. The combined increase over the past two years is the biggest such rise since the 1960s.
The median, inflation-adjusted income of $59,000 last year also surpassed the level in 1999 as the highest on record, but Census officials discouraged that comparison because the method for measuring income changed in 2014.
The number of Americans living in poverty fell to 40.6 million from 43.1 million, lowering the poverty rate to 12.7% from 13.5%. It marked the first time since the 2007-09 recession that the rate wasn’t higher than prerecession levels.
The number of people without health insurance declined by 900,000 to 28.1 million. The share of Americans without coverage dipped 8.8% from 9.1% the prior year.
The report reveals that in the final two years of the Obama administration, low- and middle-income Americans made noticeable progress after struggling in the early years of the economic recovery.
Arguing that President Obama had left working Americans behind, Trump in his campaign appealed to a base of blue-collar households with an agenda centered on tax cuts and a get-tough trade policy aimed at reclaiming manufacturing jobs.
But Trump also has proposed cutting federal assistance for low-income households and rolling back the Affordable Care Act, which has provided health insurance to millions more Americans.
Many economists have bemoaned average wage growth that has risen just modestly despite the low 4.4% unemployment rate that’s making it tougher for employers to find qualified workers. In 2016, average wage gains accelerated to 2.9% from a tepid 2% earlier in the recovery, but they’ve retreated to 2.5% in recent months.
The Census Bureau’s median household income measure, however, is broader because it also includes bonuses, Social Security income, public assistance payments, and interest and dividends from investments. Income gains were also bolstered by the healthy 2.2 million jobs the economy added in 2016.
Read or Share this story: https://usat.ly/2y28ugf