American household incomes reach a high point - here's what it means

Americans saw their median household income increase to $59,039 in 2016, the highest on record, up 3.2 percent from the previous year.

Duggan cited partnerships with major employers, job training programs and expanded bus service that helps people get to jobs.

Jargowsky said he plans to update his study next year after the Census Bureau provides new tract-level data in December. The 12.7 percent poverty rate in 2016 was a decrease of 0.8 percentage points from 13.5 percent in 2015, it said.

Of 152 Census areas the agency tracks across the country, only nine places saw median household incomes drop in the last decade and eight of those are in Ontario.

"NH has high median earnings because it has a relatively low percentage of low income households and a lot of households in the middle and upper-middle income range", Gottlob said.

The number of people without health insurance also declined by 900,000 to 28.1 million.

He noted that the poverty rate was 15.3% in Florida and 15% in Texas before those states were hit hard by massive storms. That's down from a post-recession high of 15.9 percent in 2012. 2016 marks the second year in a row that the median household income in the USA increased.

Based on years of research, Meyer and Sullivan on Tuesday published alternative, consumption-based estimates in the inaugural University of Chicago/University of Notre Dame Consumption Poverty Report. The 2016 figure is not statistically different than the 2007 rate, the bureau said.

Also, the poverty rate ticked down to 12.7% in 2016 from 13.5% a year earlier.

"It's been good news for the past several years, but we're starting to get anxious about what could happen in the very near future", said Deb Polun, senior director of policy and outreach for the Community Health Center Association of CT. Last year, 6.4 percent of non-Hispanic whites were living below the poverty limit, compared with 18.6 percent of Hispanics and 17.4 percent of blacks. For example, in 2016, a family of four with two adults and two children with a household income of $24,339 or less, two adults with $16,543 or less, or someone aged 65 or older with $11,511 or less would all be considered to be living in poverty.

Poverty fell, too, for adults and for children, which finally brings the overall United States poverty rate back to where it was before the recession of 2007-2009.

"Those linkages by demographic characteristics really matter", said Jennifer Robson, an assistant professor of public policy at Carleton University in Ottawa, and a member of the school's Centre for Studies on Poverty and Social Citizenship.

For much of the recovery, he could find only "dead-end" minimum-wage jobs at carwashes and discount stores.

Historically, that's because of union contracts such as the UAW's and coverage provided under the Affordable Care Act. Without more wage gains, momentum could slow.

"The last two years have been pretty good nationwide", Ballard said.

Most economists would argue that Trump hasn't been in the White House long enough to have a measurable impact on the economy, but some question if he will ever be able to implement his agenda.

"The longest expansion in US history was in the 90s", when there was a decade of growth.

MCEVERS: And we're talking about, though, this improvement in the year 2016.

In 2017, the number and percentage of shared households remained higher than in 2007, the year before the most recent recession.

  • Rogelio Becker