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U.S. Middle-Class Incomes Reached Highest-Ever Level in 2016, Census Bureau Says

"The incomes of middle-class Americans rose last year to the highest level ever recorded by the Census Bureau," states the Washington Post (Sept. 12, Long), as median household income increased to $59,039 -- a 3.2 percent gain from the year before and the second consecutive year of healthy gains. Income inequality remains high, though, with the top 20 percent of earners taking home over 50 percent of all overall income, a record. In addition, racial disparities linger, with the median African-American household earning only $39,490 versus more than $65,000 for whites and over $81,000 for Asians. "The median income had surged since 2014 because millions more Americans found full-time jobs," adds the Post, "but there is little evidence that employers are rushing to offer raises to those who already are employed. Momentum could slow without more wage gains.

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