Sep 14, 2023 - News

Inflation wiped out income gains for Minnesotans during the pandemic

Change in median household income, 2019 to 2022
Data: U.S. Census Bureau. Map: Chart: Kavya Beheraj/Axios

The pay raises Minnesotans got during the pandemic were wiped out by inflation.

Driving the news: The U.S. Census Bureau released its 2022 American Community Survey results today, and the data shows that median incomes when adjusted for inflation declined in both the Twin Cities metro and Minnesota between 2019 and 2022.

Why it matters: For years, median incomes in Minnesota were rising faster than inflation, state demographer Susan Brower told Axios. This is a reversal of that trend.

  • "It's been increasing slowly over the last decade," she said. "The last time we saw it stall or decline was around the Great Recession."

Yes, but: Brower cautioned that the data is lagging because it surveyed people about their 2021 income. Since then, incomes in Minnesota have kept rising, while inflation has been cooling here.

By the numbers: Inflation-adjusted median household income in Minnesota fell 4.5% — from $86,228 in 2019 to $82,338.

  • The decline was slightly worse in the Twin Cities, falling 5.6%, to $91,341.

The big picture: Nationally, median household income fell 1.6% between 2019 and 2022, adjusted for inflation.

The bottom line: This trend "explains why Americans have felt so meh about the strong economy over the past couple (of) years," Axios' Emily Peck writes based on similar yet slightly different data released earlier this week.

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