Sign up for our daily briefing

Make your busy days simpler with Axios AM/PM. Catch up on what's new and why it matters in just 5 minutes.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Denver news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Denver

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Des Moines news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Des Moines

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Minneapolis-St. Paul news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Twin Cities

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Tampa Bay news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Tampa Bay

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Charlotte news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Charlotte

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

New U.S. Census figures show gains in wages and declines in poverty for U.S. citizens, but some household income numbers sour the data.

By the numbers: Median income in 2018 was higher than every year since at $63,179, per the Census in a note accompanying the data's release. But the agency cautions recent estimates reflect changes implemented to the survey and analysts point out that household income hasn't moved much since 1999.

Reality check: "Considering that the U.S. economy grew by an inflation-adjusted 48% over the same period, that is more than striking," WSJ's Justin Lahart writes.

  • Poverty is dropping. The number of people living in poverty fell by 1.4 million.
  • But median income is growing slowly. "Median household incomes rose only 0.9% in 2018, compared with 1.8% in 2017. In 2016 and 2015, median household incomes grew much faster, at 3.1% and 5.1%, respectively," analysts at the Economic Policy Institute note.

What they're saying:

  • “Household income growth significantly slowed again in 2018, following a marked deceleration in 2017. While any reduction in poverty or increase in income is a step in the right direction, most families have just barely made up the ground lost over the past decade,” EPI senior economist Elise Gould said in a release.
  • "We’ve seen a lot of gains in employment among lower-income and lower-education groups ... but it is precisely those groups that are vulnerable to layoffs if economic activity slows," Marianne Wanamaker, an economist and former member of Trump’s Council of Economic Advisers, told the Washington Post.

Go deeper: Majority of new hires are people of color for first time in history

Go deeper

Updated 7 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Trump grants flurry of last-minute pardons

Photo: Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post via Getty

President Trump issued 73 pardons and commuted the sentences of 70 individuals early Wednesday, 11 hours from leaving office.

Why it matters: It's a last-minute gift to some of the president's loyalists and an evident use of executive power with only hours left of his presidency. Axios reported in December that Trump planned to grant pardons to "every person who ever talked to me."

51 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Trump revokes ethics order barring former aides from lobbying

Photo: Spencer Platt via Getty

Shortly after pardoning members of Congress and lobbyists convicted on corruption charges, President Trump revoked an executive order barring former officials from lobbying for five years after leaving his administration.

Why it matters: The order, which was signed eight days after he took office, was an attempt to fulfill his campaign promise to "drain the swamp."

  • But with less than 12 hours left in office, Trump has now removed those limitations on his own aides.

Trump pardons former fundraiser Elliott Broidy

President Trump has pardoned Elliott Broidy, a former top Republican fundraiser who pleaded guilty late last year to conspiring to violate foreign lobbying laws as part of a campaign to sway the administration on behalf of Chinese and Malaysian interests.

Why it matters: Broidy was a deputy finance chair for the Republican National Committee early in Trump’s presidency, and attempted to leverage his influence in the Trump administration on behalf of his clients. The president's decision to pardon Broidy represents one last favor for a prominent political ally.