Incomes increase for first time since 2007

Incomes increase for first time since 2007
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Incomes rose at a record pace in 2015 as American workers got a 5.2 percent boost to their paychecks, the first increase in eight years. 

Median household income surged to $56,516 last year, from $53,718 in 2014, the first annual increase since 2007, before the recession started, the Census Bureau said on Tuesday.

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Overall, the report on income, poverty and health insurance rates showed that the poverty rate fell faster than at any point since 1968 and the uninsured rate continued to fall since the passage of ObamaCare.

“Today’s report from the Census Bureau shows the remarkable progress that American families have made as the recovery continues to strengthen,” the White House said in a statement.

Income grew for households across all wage levels, with the fastest growth among lower- and middle-income households, according to an analysis by Jason FurmanJason FurmanIn surprise, unemployment rate falls, economy adds jobs Overnight Health Care: Global coronavirus cases top 1M | Cities across country in danger of becoming new hotspots | Trump to recommend certain Americans wear masks | Record 6.6M file jobless claims The Memo: Scale of economic crisis sends shudders through nation MORE, chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers; Sandra Black, a member of the council; and Matt Fielder, chief economist on the council.  

Overall, median household income in 2015 was 1.6 percent lower than in 2007 and 2.4 percent lower than its peak during the period of rapid economic growth in 1999.

In 2015, the poverty rate decreased by 1.2 percentage points, falling to 13.5 percent last year, the largest annual since 1999.

Last year, 43.1 million people were in poverty, 3.5 million fewer than in 2014. 

House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin BradyKevin Patrick BradyOn The Money: Five takeaways from the July jobs report Stimulus checks debate now focuses on size, eligibility Pelosi huddles with chairmen on surprise billing but deal elusive MORE (R-Texas) called the report "disappointing" and "confirmation that too many Americans are still struggling to provide for their families and reach their full potential." 

"The federal government invests billions of dollars each year in programs to help low-income Americans — but more than 43 million people continue to live in poverty," Brady said. "It shouldn’t be this way in America."

After years of stagnant wage growth in the wake of the recession, which started in December 2007, Americans are finally beginning to see a long-awaited increase in their salaries.

Since 2010, the labor market has been steadily creating jobs, dropping the unemployment rate down to 4.9 percent. 

Sen. Charles SchumerChuck SchumerWhite House officials, Democrats spar over legality, substance of executive orders Schumer declines to say whether Trump executive orders are legal: They don't 'do the job' Schumer: Idea that 0 unemployment benefit keeps workers away from jobs 'belittles the American people' MORE (D-N.Y.) called the income increase “excellent news" that should keep Democrats and Republicans focused on policies that raise middle-class wages.

“This is the biggest increase in quite a long time, and it’s important that we do everything we can to keep it going," Schumer said. 

At the same time, the percentage of people without health insurance coverage decreased.

The percentage of people without coverage for 2015 was 9.1 percent, down from 10.4 percent in 2014.

The number of people without health insurance declined to 29 million, from 33 million, over the period, the Census report said.