Unexpectedly Intriguing!
01 July 2021

Political Calculations' initial estimate of median household income in May 2021 is $68,526, an increase of $738 (or 1.1%) from the initial estimate of $67,788 for April 2021.

The latest update to the chart tracking Median Household Income in the 21st Century shows the nominal (red) and inflation-adjusted (blue) trends for median household income in the United States from January 2000 through May 2021. The inflation-adjusted figures are presented in terms of constant May 2021 U.S. dollars.

Median Household Income in the 21st Century: Nominal and Real Modeled Estimates, January 2000 to May 2021

May 2021's increase in median household income continues to be accompanied with rapidly rising inflation. With respect to April 2020's inflation-adjusted peak, the purchasing power of the U.S. median household income in May 2021 falls $1,023 short of that level after adjusting for inflation.

The good news is that relative gap peaked in March 2021 and has shrunk considerably in the months since, indicating faster growth in incomes.

Analyst's Notes

The BEA's estimates for aggregate wage and salary data from January 2021 through April 2021 were revised slightly from the Bureau's previous estimates. The estimates for January and February 2021 were adjusted downward by 0.01% and 0.02% respectively. The estimates for March and April 2021 were revised upward by 0.01% and 0.04%.

References

U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis. Table 2.6. Personal Income and Its Disposition, Monthly, Personal Income and Outlays, Not Seasonally Adjusted, Monthly, Middle of Month. Population. [Online Database (via Federal Reserve Economic Data)]. Last Updated: 28 May 2021. Accessed: 28 May 2021.

U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis. Table 2.6. Personal Income and Its Disposition, Monthly, Personal Income and Outlays, Not Seasonally Adjusted, Monthly, Middle of Month. Compensation of Employees, Received: Wage and Salary Disbursements. [Online Database (via Federal Reserve Economic Data)]. Last Updated: 28 May 2021. Accessed: 28 May 2021.

U.S. Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics. Consumer Price Index, All Urban Consumers - (CPI-U), U.S. City Average, All Items, 1982-84=100. [Online Database (via Federal Reserve Economic Data)]. Last Updated: 12 May 2021. Accessed: 12 May 2021.

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