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Households in Massachusetts saw their incomes rise in 2015, but at only about half the level of gains nationally.
Median household income grew just 2 percent in Massachusetts from 2014 to 2015 (from $69,223 to $70,628), according to census data released Thursday. For the United States as a whole, household incomes rose 3.8 percent (from $53,713 to $55,775).
(Here, you may be saying, wait, two days ago you reported that U.S. household incomes grew 5 percent over the year. Well, Thursday's state data comes from the Census Bureau's American Community Survey; Tuesday's data came from a related but separate survey.)
Of course, Massachusetts' overall income level masks demographics differences.
Income for Hispanic or Latino households (of any race), however, went the other way — in a big way. In 2014 Hispanic/Latino median income was $34,507, according to the survey, and rose significantly, to $38,195, in 2015.
Income for non-Hispanic/Latino white households was still far higher, from $75,598 in 2014 to $77,091 in 2015.
And there are also regional differences in income. For instance, median household income in the Boston metro area — a wide swath that includes the city but also parts of southern New Hampshire — grew faster than the the state as a whole -- 4.1 percent from 2014 to 2015, or $75,710 to $78,800.
Thursday's census data came out on the same day as the latest state jobs report, which showed that the Massachusetts unemployment rate is under 4 percent for the first time since 2001.
For all of 2015, the state jobless rate was below the national rate, and Massachusetts gained an estimated 41,100 jobs last year. A tight labor market should lead to increased wages, as employers compete over fewer available workers.
Here are a few more details from the census report:
Now, two caveats.
First, the report obviously just covers last year, and zooming out can provide more insight on trends. For instance, as the left-leaning Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center wrote Thursday, "... poverty rates remain well above pre-recession levels (2007) and median incomes remain below pre-recession peaks."
And second: The census data are based on a survey, and so there are margins of errors (and critics of the methodology).
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