Household incomes rise to new high, but rate of health coverage flattens

Household incomes rise to new high but rate of health coverage flattens

Previous year marked the first time ever that middle-class incomes were above $60,000.

But by other measures, the USA economy is still not working for everyone.

The Census Bureau's report on income and poverty in the USA showed median household income rising 1.8 percent to an inflation-adjusted $61,372 in 2017, increasing for the third consecutive year.

Although the household income level is considered to be the highest ever recorded, census officials say it is about the same, when adjusted for inflation, as in 1999 and 2007. Median household income is generally viewed as the best gauge of how a typical middle-class home is faring financially.

But while the median household income for white, non-Hispanic households rose 2.6 percent to $68,145 in 2017 and rose 3.7 percent to $50,486 for Hispanic households, it fell 0.2 percent to $40,258 for African-American households. The percentage of Americans without health insurance was essentially unchanged from 2016 to 2017 - staying at about 8.8 percent, or 28.5 million people - despite the overall economic boom.

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FILE PHOTO: A sign advertises open jobs at an Embassy Suites hotel in Waltham, Massachusetts, U.S., December 13, 2017.

Much of these gains in household income and workforce participation come as the economy's strength continues to climb in 2018.

The stunning report says the median USA household income reached $61,372 a year ago, meaning half of Americans are earning more than they did during the previous high reached in 1999.

The Census also reported that the USA poverty rate declined modestly to 12.3 percent, the lowest level in years and a sign the economic devastation from the Great Recession is subsiding.

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