American household income finally topped 1999 peak last year

Personal Finance Associated Press

Four thousand U.S. dollars are counted out by a banker counting currency at a bank in Westminster, Colorado November 3, 2009. REUTERS/Rick Wilking/File Photo - RTX2HVRI

The median U.S. household’s income finally topped pre-recession levels last year and has reached an all-time high after years of sluggish growth.

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The Census Bureau says the median income, adjusted for inflation, rose 3.2 percent from 2015 to 2016 to $59,039.

After two straight years of solid income gains, the median American household last year essentially earned the same as it did in 1999, when incomes peaked at $58,665. The median is the point at which half the households fall below and half are above.

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Since 2000, two recessions and sluggish income growth in between have left most American households with meager pay growth. The lack of meaningful raises has left many people feeling left behind economically, a sentiment that factored into the 2016 elections.

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