Get ready for bigger paychecks: Record high increases expected in 2023
The average U.S. family’s real income climbed by $4,000 between 2012 and 2017 – and could jump 7% more in the next five years if the economy continues to grow at its current pace.
WASHINGTON — The typical family’s average annual income rose 7 percent last year, the first time such a gain has happened in more than 20 years.
The average family’s real annual income climbed 7 percent from 2012 to 2017, the first time such a gain has happened since 1981.
The national average annual income for a family of four is $54,800, up about $3,700 since 2012. Since 1983, the average annual income for a family of four in the U.S. has grown by more than $2,000.
That means the average U.S. family is earning more than one full year’s worth of income over the past 20 years, and could earn as much as 2.8 years’ worth through 2023.
Most experts say that’s unsustainable.
“It’s going to be difficult for families to continue to live at that higher level of income, because it’s simply not possible,” said Heidi Shierholz, a senior fellow at the National Institute on Money in State Politics.
U.S. families’ average income could double as soon as 2023, if the country’s economy continues to grow at its current pace.
“We’re in a period where the economy is looking really positive, and it’s going to be a lot harder for families to maintain that higher standard of living,” said Michael Townsend, chief economist for the Atlanta Fed.
Most forecasters expect the economy to continue growing at a solid pace, while unemployment falls to record low levels for a decade.
The economy has been a driver of pay growth for the past few decades, with average incomes rising for both