State of Household Income and Employment in the United States

State of Household Income and Employment in the United States
Anne Johnson

By net worth, the United States has been the wealthiest nation in the world for the last 60 years. With its large, diversified economy of tourism, services, banking industries, renewable energy, etc., America has dominated the world’s economic landscape.

But what does this mean for U.S. citizens? The wealth of a nation comes down to household and individual income. Employment is another critical factor. How much are Americans earning?

Median vs. Average Household Income in the US

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, by the close of 2022, the median household income was $74,580, while the average U.S. household income was $105,555. The disparity between the two numbers is due to how they have been extrapolated.

An average income is the sum of all divided by the count of incomes in the data set. While the median is the income in the middle of the data set. This means that the average income can be a skewed number.

For example, if five individuals make between $40,000 and $50,000 and one makes $500,000, the average income will be $120,000. This contrasts with the median income, which would still be between $40,000 and $50,000.

The median income in the United States decreased 2.2 percent between 2021 and 2022. From 2019 to 2022, the median household income went from $78,250 to $74,580.

The Census Bureau numbers for 2023 have not been released.

Median Household Income by Region

Median household income is different by region.
The West has the highest median household income, with $82,890. This number was $85,650 in 2021. Other regions are:
  • Northeast—$80,360
  • Midwest—$73,070
  • South—$68,230
All regions were down from 2021, except the South, which remained flat.

States Differ in Income

Coming in at number one, Maryland’s median household income is $97,332. However, Maryland moves down the list to number 10 regarding personal income per capita, which is $69,694.

Per capita income is derived by dividing the aggregate income of a particular group by the total population in that group. In this case, a state.

The top five states and districts following Maryland in median household income are:
  • District of Columbia—$90,640
  • New Hampshire—$88,841
  • New Jersey—$88,559
  • Utah—$87,649
  • Washington—$87,648
These states are all above the national $74,580 median household income. But there are poorer states that fall below the threshold.
Mississippi has the lowest median household income, with $46,637. The five additional bottom states consist of the following:
  • Alabama—$56,929
  • Kentucky—$55,629
  • New Mexico—$53,463
  • Arkansas—$50,784
  • West Virginia—$46,836
There’s a difference of over $50,000 in median household income between the highest and lowest states. Most of the low median household income states fall in the South.

Individual Income Distribution in America

How does income break down in America?

The percentage of households earning less than $10,000 is 5.5 percent, while the highest percentage of household income earners with $200,000 or more is 11.5 percent.

But where does the average American fall?

The $100,000–149,999 income encompasses 16.9 percent of U.S. households. In second place comes those households earning $50,000–74,999 at 16.2 percent.

The rest of the income range for households is:
  • $10,000–14,999—3.7 percent
  • $15,000–24,999—6.8 percent
  • $25,000–34,999—7.3 percent
  • $35,000–49,999—10.7 percent
  • $75,000–99,999—12.8 percent
  • $150,000–199,999—8.7 percent
This means roughly 70 percent of the U.S. household income range is over $35,000.

Highest and Lowest-Paying Jobs

There’s a difference between income, which can be various streams of revenue versus salary. Salaries are attributed to individuals and come from a single employer of self-employed payment.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the mean for a salary or full-time worker is $53,490 annually.

The highest salary in the United States is a cardiologist, earning $421,330 annually. Shampooers are the lowest at $27,870.

Some popular professions earn on average:
  • Nurse practitioners—$96,285
  • Firefighters—$48,532
  • Electricians—$47,800
  • Pharmacy technicians—$35,800
  • Construction managers—$84,185
  • High school teachers—$51,640
  • Investment banker—$104,670
Many salaries are higher in the United States than in Europe. For example, the average data scientist in the United States earns $97,000 annually, whereas in Europe, the average is $73,000.

An American product manager draws $132,000 instead of their European counterpart, who makes $90,000.

And the average teacher’s salary in Europe is roughly $27,000.

Employment in America

According to the BLS, as of November 2023, the U.S. unemployment rate was 3.7 percent. The lowest unemployment rates came from Maryland and North Dakota, with 1.8 and 1.9 percent, respectively.

Nevada came in with the highest unemployment rate, with 5.4 percent.

Currently, most industries have some worker shortages. Most people have heard that leisure and hospitality have a labor shortage. They are now operating with 60 percent of the workers they need.

But the biggest labor shortage is in the professional and business services category. Currently, they have 50 percent of their positions filled.

Durable goods manufacturing operates at 80 percent, while wholesale and retail trade is healthy at 100 percent.

Understand the Numbers

When evaluating the revenue generated by the average worker, it’s important to know where the numbers are coming from.

There’s a significant disparity between median household income and average household income. Salary and income are also two different measurements.

The Epoch Times copyright © 2024. The views and opinions expressed are those of the authors. They are meant for general informational purposes only and should not be construed or interpreted as a recommendation or solicitation. The Epoch Times does not provide investment, tax, legal, financial planning, estate planning, or any other personal finance advice. The Epoch Times holds no liability for the accuracy or timeliness of the information provided.
Anne Johnson was a commercial property & casualty insurance agent for nine years. She was also licensed in health and life insurance. Anne went on to own an advertising agency where she worked with businesses. She has been writing about personal finance for ten years.
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