Society

U.S. Household Incomes Rise For First Time Since 2007

| by Nik Bonopartis
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An uptick in employment put a dent in the poverty rate and significantly raised the median income of Americans for the first time since 2007, according to newly-released data from the federal government.

The data also suggests America's poorest enjoyed the biggest gains, prompting economists to laud the report as one of the most positive in recent memory.

Americans earned $53,700 in 2014 and $56,500 in 2015, an increase of 5.2 percent. Census officials told reporters on a conference call that they attributed the rise in income to a higher employment rate, Reuters reported.

The increase in median income was reported across all age groups and all regional areas, federal officials said.

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Chris Christopher, an economist at forecasting firm IHS, told The Associated Press: "It has been a long slog from the depths of the Great Recession, but things are finally starting to improve for many American households."

For the first time, median incomes are higher than when President Barack Obama took office, the AP reported, but still fall short of the $57,909 median income in 1999.

Likewise, 2014's poverty rate of 14.8 percent dropped slightly, to 13.5 percent in 2015. That's the biggest decline, percentage-wise, since 1999, Census officials told Reuters. Officials said the dent in the poverty rate is attributed not only to more people finding employment, but also more job-seekers finding full-time positions.

Economists reacted positively to the news on Twitter.

"I can't remember feeling such glee on seeing a new economics data report," the Economic Policy Institute's Larry Mishel tweeted Sept. 13.

Jason Furman, chairman of the president's Council of Economic Advisers, has a stake in playing up the good news included in the report, but excitedly tweeted tidbits of data showing positive indicators for the economy.

"I usually try to be restrained," Furman tweeted, "but this is unambiguously the best Income, Poverty & Health Insurance report ever."

Sources: Reuters, The Associated Press, Jason Furman/Twitter, Larry Mishel/Twitter / Photo credit: 2bgr8STOCK/Deviant Art

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