Unexpectedly Intriguing!
02 April 2024
Household Incomes by Nick Youngson on Picpedia - https://www.picpedia.org/suspension-file/h/household-incomes.html

According to Motio Research, median household income dipped in February 2024. The firm's estimate of February 2024's median household income is $77,265, a small decrease of $132 (-0.2%) from the firm's initial estimate of $77,397 for January 2024.

Motio Research's estimates are based on income data collected by the U.S. Census Bureau as part of its monthly Current Population Survey. The firm adjusts its monthly estimates to account for the effects of seasonality and inflation in its data, presenting its results in the form of an index, where the median household income of January 2010 is assigned a value of 100. The initial value of the firm's U.S. Real Median Household Income Index for February 2024 is 112.6, which falls below the pre-pandemic level of 112.9 recorded in February 2020.

The following screenshot of Motio Research's interactive chart shows how this index has changed from January 2010 through February 2024:

Screenshot of Motio Research U.S. Real Median Household Income Index (MHII) from January 2010 through February 2024

In our view, the small decline in February 2024's median household income estimate is not sufficient to break the uptrend shown for this index since May 2023.

Analyst's Notes

Political Calculations produces estimates of median household income that complement the monthly survey-based estimates produced by Motio Research. Our initial estimate of median household income in February 2024 using our alternate methodology is $77,508, which is $225 (+0.3%) higher than our initial estimate of $77,283 for January 2024. Our February 2024 estimate is $243 above Motio Research's initial estimate for the month.

The latest update to Political Calculations' 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 February 2024. The inflation-adjusted figures are presented in terms of constant January 2024 U.S. dollars.

Median Household Income in the 21st Century: Nominal and Real Modeled Estimates, January 2000 to February 2024

Focusing on the blue, inflation-adjusted data in the chart, we find the purchasing power of the $77,508 income earned by the typical American household in February 2024 is 3.2% below its level in February 2020 when our inflation-adjusted median household income stood at $80,102 in terms of constant February 2024 dollars. This percentage represents the net purchasing power the typical American household has lost during the past four years, nearly all of which has taken place since the end of 2020.

The U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis made minor negative adjustments of less than 0.1% in the aggregate income estimates we use in crafting our median household income estimates for last four months.

For the latest in our coverage of median household income in the United States, follow this link!

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: 29 March 2024. Accessed: 29 March 2024.

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: 29 March 2024. Accessed: 29 March 2024.

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: 13 March 2024. Accessed: 13 March 2024.

Image credit: Household Incomes by Nick Youngson on Picpedia. Creative Commons CC by SA 3.0 Deed.

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