Chart of the Day: We’re Now Well Into Our Second Decade of Stagnant Incomes


The New York Times reports that household income is still in the doldrums:

Median household income has begun to recover over the last two years, but households still have not come close to regaining the purchasing power they had before the financial crisis began, a new study says. The study, issued on Wednesday by two former Census Bureau officials, suggests why many people remain glum even though the economy is growing and unemployment has declined.

In fact, it’s worse than that. The study in question comes from Sentier Research, which calculates a Household Income Index going back to January 2000. As you can see below, incomes were pretty stagnant during the entire aughts, which means that median household income today isn’t just below the level of 2007, it’s below the level of 2000. If you add in health benefits, the picture is brighter, but only modestly: Total household compensation today is still below its level in 2000 even when you count healthcare premiums. We are now well into our second decade of flat incomes for the non-rich.

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And the truth is, going into the final 4 days of the year we still needed to raise $TK to hit our $350,000 goal and start 2021 on track. It's nerve-wracking, wondering if the big spike we normally see at the end of December is going to be another thing that doesn't go as planned in 2020, or worse, if, now that Donald Trump is set to leave the White House (for longer than a taxpayer-funded golf trip to a property he owns), folks might be pulling back from fighting for the truth and a democracy and think the hard work is done.

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THE TRUTH IS...

what drives Mother Jones' team of 50-plus journalists. The truth is powerful, as evidenced by how hard those with something to hide, or profit to gain, seek to discredit it. The truth, stated boldly and reported meticulously, is what draws so many readers to Mother Jones.

And the truth is, going into the final 4 days of the year we still needed to raise $TK to hit our $350,000 goal and start 2021 on track. It's nerve-wracking, wondering if the big spike we normally see at the end of December is going to be another thing that doesn't go as planned in 2020, or worse, if, now that Donald Trump is set to leave the White House (for longer than a taxpayer-funded golf trip to a property he owns), folks might be pulling back from fighting for the truth and a democracy and think the hard work is done.

It's not, and if you can right now, please consider a year-end donation to support our team's fearless nonprofit journalism so we can close that big fundraising gap and finish the year strong, ready for all that's ahead in 2021. Whether you can give $5 or $500, it all matters in keeping us charging hard, and we'd be grateful.

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