America just got some real good news. The economy is way better than most people thought. Most Americans had a good year in 2015. The number includes men, women, minorities and those with low incomes.
A bad recession began in 2008. Things were taking a long time to get better. Some experts said good times would not come for a while. Maybe never. They said jobs were going offshore. They said robots were replacing people. They said people who did not finish college would not be able to find good employment.
Well, last year the number of jobs went up. Wages went up. Family incomes went up. The number of people without health insurance went down. The number of people in poverty went down. The gap between the pay of men and women narrowed.
One number stands out. It is the median income of American households. It went up by 5.2 percent over the median income 2014. The increase is the biggest since they began keeping records fifty years ago!
No, the difference between the rich and the rest of the country did not go down. And the news does not mean the country is “out of the woods.” It does show that things are getting better.
Wages and benefits are going up. That means people have more money than before. Dealers are selling more cars. Developers are selling more houses.
This is an election year. Democrats see the news as a reason to vote for them. Republicans say the recovery would have been faster if they were in power. Donald Trump said, “Poverty is beyond belief.”
But the best news was about the poor. Their incomes went up at a higher rate than others. The earnings of the poor remain low. But they are not as low as before.
One year is not a trend, but experts said the change was broad and deep. They said it would continue.
Source: The New York Times September 13, 2016