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Inquiring minds are diving into the Census Department report on Income and Poverty in the United States: 2017.

By race, real median household income is rising across the board, as shown in the above chart.

Appearances deceive as the next chart shows.

Battle of the Sexes

Since 1973, the increase in real household increase is entirely (and then some) dependent on the rising earnings of women vs men.

Male and Female Full-Time Worker Earnings

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The table data shows 1973 as the peak year for men. I added the blue dotted lines. Here is a portion of the table.

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Full-Time Workers

  • 1973 Men: 39,643
  • 1973 Women: 17,574
  • 1973 W/M Ratio: 44.33%
  • 2017 Men: 66,397
  • 2017 Women: 49,308
  • 2017 W/M Ratio: 74.26%

Household income is up not only because women's earnings are up but also because more women are working.

Real Median Earnings 1973 vs 2017 Full-Time Workers

  • Men 1973: $55,317
  • Men 2017: $52,146
  • Women 1973: 31,328
  • Women 2017: $41,977
  • Men: -5.73%
  • Women: +33.99%
  • 1973 Gap: Men +$23,989
  • 2017 Gap: Men +$10,169
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Women's wages have not caught men's but the gap is shrinking. ​Single men, men whose spouse does not work, and male-only households are worse off now than in 1973.

Calculate the CPI with housing prices instead of rent and the stats are even worse.

Grim Stats

Wolf Richter at WolfStreet has nice quintile stats and other charts in his take Census Bureau Reveals Grim Facts about Real Earnings of Men.

The previous two charts showed earnings of full-time workers.

The following charts show all sources of income except capital gains.

18 Years of Income Stagnation

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No Income Stagnation at the Top

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Who Got the Spoils?

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As Richter points out, "This phenomenon of disproportionate income gains at the top doesn’t even include capital gains, which would skew the chart into the stratosphere, thanks in part to the Fed’s QE and zero-interest rate policy"

Mike "Mish" Shedlock