And finally, here's one more way to view the median household income:
One caveat: Median household income, a measure which includes the earnings of everyone in a household, is not the same as median wages, which measures what individuals earn.
[UPDATE: New Deal democrat at the Bonddad blog points out an obvious error in the above sentence. Household income includes more than just earnings, but pension and interest payments as well.]
What we're seeing here, not that it's news to anyone who has followed the trend over the past few years, is how marginal the recovery has been on the wage end of things even though job growth itself has improved significantly. A report by the National Employment Law Project makes the situation clear:
• Lower-wage industries constituted 22 percent of recession losses, but 44 percent of recovery growth.
• Mid-wage industries constituted 37 percent of recession losses, but only 26 percent of recovery growth.
• Higher-wage industries constituted 41 percent of recession losses, and 30 percent of recovery growth.
Today, there are nearly two million fewer jobs in mid- and higher-wage industries than there were before the recession took hold, while there are 1.85 million more jobs in lower-wage industries.
Not a good trend, to say the least.