Positive Poverty, Income & Job Openings Data


Today the Census Bureau released data on income and poverty in American for the year 2016.

Income and Poverty in the United States: 2016


A quick snap shot of the data shows all the numbers moving in the right direction.

“Median household income in the United States in 2016 was $59,039, an increase in real terms of 3.2 percent from the 2015 median income of $57,230. This is the second consecutive annual increase in median household income.”


Incomes grew for all races in America too recently.

Demographic income

As we can see below, the vast gains in incomes over the decades went to the college educated while less educated Americans didn’t fare so well.


Here’s the household income distribution (last bar is $250K-plus) for 2016

Household Income distribution

A must follow on twitter

Article focuses on contracting, which isn’t hugely evident in data, but bifurcation by educ is: those w/ degrees have left others behind.

“The nation’s official poverty rate in 2016 was 12.7 percent, with 40.6 million people in poverty, 2.5 million fewer than in 2015. The 0.8 percentage point decrease from 2015 to 2016 represents the second consecutive annual decline in poverty. The 2016 poverty rate is not statistically different from the 2007 rate (12.5 percent), the year before the most recent recession.”

Poverty 2017

Poverty has really collapsed for African Americans over the decades and in this report shows that it has fallen for all races.

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A surprise to some is that those ages 18 and younger still have the highest poverty levels in America. This report also showed an uptick in poverty for those ages 65 and over and for the first of the baby boomers who turned 62 in 2008 I would keep an eye on this group going forward. 

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Social Security is doing what it was intended too.

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I encourage people to take a look at report to drill down on the details. 


On another note, job openings hit  6,200,000 today This has been my peak target level  for job opening. I would get concerned if we saw much more growth above this level because we may not have the  labor force available for these openingsHaving said that, I would be surprised if we saw much more growth above these levels.

From Doug Short:


More job openings data can be found on the BLS site.

See our interactive graphics on today’s new job openings and labor turnover numbers #DataViz

After the double whammy of hurricane Harvey and Irma, it will be interesting to see if we have enough construction workers to satisfy both the home builders and other business.   Surveys have shown a lack of construction workers, even before these storms. Even though total construction spending is back to 2007 levels, we do not have number of construction workers that we had during the peaks in construction in the previous cycle.


From Fred:

Construction workers

From Fred

Construction spending

All in all, still heading in the right direction. Every economy always has a lot work to do to help all people. However, the great American depression bears of 2009-2017 had one of its biggest defeat today.



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Logan Mohtashami is a financial writer and blogger covering the U.S. economy with a specialization in the housing marketLogan Mohtashami is a senior loan officer at AMC Lending Group,  which has been providing mortgage services for California residents since 1987. Logan also tracks all economic data  daily on his own facebook page https://www.facebook.com/Logan.Mohtashami