Felix Salmon writes:
Chart of the day, median income edition | Felix Salmon: Every month, the Current Population Survey goes out to a nationally representative sample of more than 50,000 interviewed households and their members. And in one of the questions, those households… are asked how much money they made, in total, over the past 12 months…. [I]t’s possible to put together an apples-to-apples comparison of what has happened to household income every month.
And when you do that, the results are very scary…. More striking still is the huge erosion in [real] incomes over the course of the supposed “recovery” — the most recent two years, since the Great Recession ended…. In dollar terms, median household income is now $49,909, down $3,609 — or 6.7% — in the two years since the recession ended. It was as high as $55,309 in December 2007, when the recession began….
[I]n the absence of any good reason to discount the reliability of these numbers, it’s definitely worth taking them seriously, and asking why incomes have eroded so quickly and dramatically over the past two years…
My guess is that the "last twelve month's income" reports are a combination of (a) actual income and (b) consumer confidence. Anybody with spare time on their hands today want to check?