New Census data: IN household incomes stalled

New Census data: IN household incomes stalled
Hoosier households earning $5,000 less than the national average

INDIANAPOLIS – New data released last week by the United States Census Bureau reiterated what Hoosiers have known for years: incomes aren’t growing quickly enough. Indiana’s 2016 real median household income ranked 36th, the same as in 2015 and was more than $5,300 lower than the national average. Indiana Democratic Party Chairman John Zody questioned Governor Eric Holcomb and the Republicans-led Legislature’s inaction on the most pressing issue facing working Hoosiers.

“This is a sobering reminder that the Indiana economy isn’t working for all Hoosiers,” said Zody. “The cost of living keeps rising and Hoosiers’ incomes just haven’t kept up. The data confirms what Hoosier families feel every time they have to stretch their paychecks to pay the bills and put food on the table.”

Hoosiers’ median household incomes are stalled in the bottom third nationally and well below the national average, pointing to a policy issue and putting Governor Holcomb and Statehouse Republicans squarely in the hot seat.

“Just treading water isn’t good enough. The bottom third nationally isn’t good enough. Hoosiers expect integrity. If you take credit for a low employment rate, Holcomb and Statehouse Republicans should own up to an outright policy failure over slow income growth,” said Zody. “Remember, Republicans shrug off slow-growing wages for Hoosiers while quietly planning to study raising Holcomb and other statewide elected officials’ pay. It’s the kind of smug, politics-as-usual behavior working Hoosiers have no time for.”

Statehouse Republicans rejected an effort by House Democrats during the 2017 legislative session to simply study methods to raise working Hoosiers’ incomes.

“Statehouse Republicans said “no” to raising Hoosiers’ wages once already,” said Zody. “Will Governor Holcomb lead on this issue heading into the 2018 session and put the power of the gubernatorial bully pulpit behind taking Hoosiers’ incomes to the next level?”

The 2018 legislative session begins in January. Legislative leaders typically announce policy goals in December.

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