Finance

Median household income rose for third straight year in 2017

Median U.S. household income rose in 2017, according to U.S. Census Bureau data released Wednesday, a sign of the nation's continued recovery since the 2008 recession.

The Census Bureau's report on income and poverty in the U.S. showed median household income rising 1.8 percent to an inflation-adjusted $61,372 in 2017, increasing for the third consecutive year.  

The 2017 figure is the highest level reported by the Census Bureau, but the agency changed the methodology it uses in 2013, complicating comparisons to prior years.

The bureau also reported a decrease in the poverty rate and increase in earnings for all workers as the unemployment rate sunk throughout 2017.

Household incomes have steadily risen as more American rejoin the workforce after losing jobs during the 2008 recession. The U.S. economy has added jobs each month since October 2010, and the unemployment rate dropped below 4 percent in April.

While the report showed rising household incomes and lower share of the population in poverty, it also highlighted the limits of the strengthening economy.

Real median earnings of all male workers increased 3.0 percent in 2017 while the earnings of female counterparts stayed stagnant. Inflation-adjusted earnings for male and female full-time workers also dropped 1.1 percent each in 2017.

The poverty rate also dropped a meager 0.4 percent between 2016 and 2017, while the number of Americans without health insurance stayed stagnant despite 2.4 million more people finding full-time jobs.

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