Census Bureau: Optimistic Outlook for Economy

Census Bureau

To answer this question, we turn to the labor market. Like the other experts, Blanchard feared that the positive trends in the Census report could be headed for a reversal. In addition, the total number of full-time, year-round workers increased by 2.2 million between 2015 and 2016, suggesting a shift from part-year, part-time work status to full-time, year-round work status.

Elise Gould, a senior economist at the liberal-leaning Economic Policy Institute, noted on a conference call with reporters Tuesday that the sagging incomes of working men in 2016 came after moderate gains the previous year.

But since the 2007-2009 downturn ended, the gap between the top and bottom earners has ballooned, according to Census data. So not only did full-time jobs account for the entire net increase in employment in 2016, but part-time workers began to upgrade to full-time hours.

- · In 2016, 11.6 percent of people ages 18 to 64 (22.8 million) were in poverty, down from 12.4 percent and 24.4 million in 2015. The median income had risen since 2014 as millions of Americans had acquired full time jobs, but there is a little proof that employers are dashing to provide raises to those who are already employed. These include whites, non-immigrants, the educated, and the non-disabled. A Gallup poll released Tuesday found that 64 percent of Americans think their "standard of living" is improving, the highest percentage since the financial crisis, while only 19 percent feel their standard of living is declining.

Meanwhile, income disparity remains high.

The rise in household income is being driven by job growth, but most of this new work is in low-paying positions. Hispanic households have a real median income of $47,675.

A higher percentage of black families were living in poverty than whites, Asians or Hispanics.

Jumps to median income varied wildly throughout the province.

The median household income took a serious hit during and after the Great Recession.

Finally, income growth differed substantially based on location as incomes grew in urban areas and remained stagnant in rural areas.

One of the chief drivers of New Hampshire's high median income is its poverty rate, which is the lowest in the nation. The national average decreased from 14.8 percent in 2013-2014.

The percentage of people without health insurance for 2016 was 8.8 percent, down from 9.1 percent in 2015. The 2016 figure is not statistically different than the 2007 rate, the bureau said.

There was a big difference in the uninsured rate between the 31 states (plus the District of Columbia) that expanded Medicaid under Obamacare and those that did not. Those in the middle fifth of the income spectrum, would see also see a cut, albeit a smaller one, worth about $2,000 on average.

"Due to longstanding and significant structural barriers to opportunity, New Jerseyans of color continue to experience significantly higher levels of poverty than others", Whiten said.

However, the official poverty measure is flawed, according to Bruce Meyer, the McCormick Foundation Professor at the University of Chicago Harris School of Public Policy and James Sullivan, the Rev. Thomas J. McDonagh, C.S.C.

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