American Incomes: Stagnant
Median household income in the United States of America slowed its descent in 2012, according to data released this week by the U.S. Census Bureau.
They typical American family brought in $51,017 last year after adjusting for inflation – which is down $83 (or 0.2 percent) from 2011. That’s bad news, obviously, but the decline was much less severe than in the previous two years – when income levels dropped by 1.5 percent and 2.6 percent, respectively.
In South Carolina, median household income in 2011 was $42,367 – down $944 (2.2 percent) from an inflation adjusted $43,311. The previous year income levels slipped by 3 percent in South Carolina. The year before that they fell 3.7 percent.
Updated 2012 data for the Palmetto State is expected to be released later this week.
Household income in the United States peaked in 1999 at $56,080 – and climbed close to that level again in 2007 at $55,627. Then the bottom fell out.
According to The Wall Street Journal, the ongoing suppression of income levels is due to … wait for it … flat wages. Because (surprise, surprise) if paychecks fall … so do incomes. Oh … and there’s very little by way of good news on the horizon given the ongoing sluggishness of the economy.
“U.S. businesses still have little incentive to boost wages given that over 11 million Americans are looking for work,” the paper reported. “Much of the nation’s recent job growth has been in lower-paying industries.”
Hope and change, everybody … hope and change.