Have You Heard The Good Income News?

We’re making progress, people

Today, we are all Ferris Bueller

Two pieces of financial news are worth cheering about today.

1. The pay gap is shrinking!

It has shrunk only slightly, but still. Women on average now make EIGHTY CENTS on the dollar, up one percentage point from last year, and that is the best ladies have ever done in America. The Wall Street Journal reports:

[A] woman working full time still earned just 80 cents for every dollar earned by a man working full time, the Census Bureau said Tuesday.
The median male, full-time worker, age 15 and older, earned $51,212 last year. The same female worker earned $40,742. …

As recently as 2013, the figure was $76.5 cents, so the nation is really trending in the right direction.

Before you start shrayen at me about how women make less money over the course of their lives because they choose to, by taking time off to do unpaid labor for their families, by not negotiating well enough, and/or by choosing lower-paid jobs, the experts have taken all of that into account and concluded that sexism still factors in.

The gender wage gap is due to number of factors, including career choice, but discrimination likely also plays a role.
Cornell University researchers estimate that about half the gap stems from women being more heavily clustered in lower-paying jobs and industries — not that they are paid less for identical work. Around one-sixth comes from men being on the job longer. Just over one-third of the gap is from factors that can’t easily be pinned down, including potential discrimination.

For more, see: today’s WWYD.

2. Wages are growing!

Remember how wages have been stagnating like a mosquito-infested swamp for years now, leaving us mired, and increasingly overwhelmed, by the costs of everything from healthcare to housing, all of which continued to rise?

At last, that’s beginning to change. Incomes have jumped over 5%!

Do you feel richer yet?

Median household income jumped 5.2 percent last year, reaching $56,500, marking the first annual increase in median household income since 2007, before the recession started, the U.S. Census Bureau said Tuesday.
In addition, the poverty rate last year declined to 13.5 percent, a 1.2 percentage point decrease since 2014. It marks the largest annual percentage point drop in poverty since 1999.

The news is especially good for Hispanic families, which got a larger boost, percentage-wise, than black, white, or Asian families: they saw their incomes on average go up by over 6%.

No, our problems as a nation are not solved. Poverty is still a real stumbling block, especially for African-Americans, who are still paid less on average and who have less inherited wealth to boot. Sexism is still an issue. Trump-ism is still a threat. But like a college freshman finally showing signs of getting over their high school sweetheart, America is moving on from the financial crisis, and that is progress to acknowledge and celebrate. Find something fun to spend $.80 on today!