President Barack Obama’s deputies announced that the median American family’s household income jumped by 5.2 percent in 2015 to $56,516 — but part of the increase is because women are working longer hours.
Obama took credit after the Census Bureau reported Sept. 13 the 5.2 percent increases as the largest one-year pop in median household income since the 1960s. Half of households earn more, and half earn less, than the median number.
The good news was a surprise, given that economic recovery during the Obama Administration, now in its 87th month, has been the slowest economic expansion since 1949 and the poverty rate is still at 2008 levels.
Lee Adler of the highly-respected Wall Street Examiner.com whose motto is, “Money Moves the Markets,” quickly sought to correct the false impression of a bloom of unicorns and butterflies.
Mining the Census Bureau’s actual data, he showed that,
Median household income was $56,516 in 2015, a 5.2 percent increase from the 2014 median in real terms, but 1.6 percent lower than the median in 2007, the year before the most recent recession, and 2.4 percent lower than the median household income peak that occurred in 1999.
Adler showed that real median earnings for Americans working full-time was $51,212 for men and $40,742 for women, which is “an increase of just 1.5 percent and 2.7 percent” for 2014 and 2015.
Digging deeper, Adler’s discovered that the total for all women’s total earnings was an increase of 6.4 percent, which is more than twice the per-person 2.7 percent gain for people working full-time. Adler sarcastically observed, “Apparently many women took a second job to help keep their households afloat. Is needing a second job an improvement in economic well being for those households?”