Net Worth in the United States: Zooming in on the Top Centiles

Ever since the 2013 Survey of Consumer Finances was released (in September of 2014), we've been looking forward to zooming in a bit closer to the numbers in their (much appreciated) release of microdata.  Once we wrapped our head around how they have 5 imputations to turn 6,026 data points into 31,130, then further remove 11 ultra high (read: … [Read more...]

The 30 Year Mortgage and Housing Accessibility

Last time in a real estate piece, we talked about the historical homeownership rate in the United States, since we were able to get data back to the 1890s. This time we'll reach back just as far, but we'll also discuss the mortgage status of homes. Even though we don't have the resolution to discuss the actual mortgage "innovations" which may have … [Read more...]

Historical Homeownership Rate in the United States, 1890-Present

In response to a question on our real estate post of last week, we decided to try to mine the internet for data on homeownership rates before the series we presented in that article started in the mid-1960s.  We found them buried in a recently digitized Census Bureau report from the 1970s(!), helpfully indexed and searchable at the University of … [Read more...]

A Calculator: Income Distribution by Age for 2013 US Data

This calculator crunches income quantile data for 2013 United States data for every single age (by year) from 18-80, to report incomes for every quantile from 1 to 99.  If you enter an income and age in the form, it will report which quantile that income fell into and produce a graph of all incomes for that age. When the graph is rendered, you … [Read more...]

How Has Real Estate Performed Since the Recession?

In a word?  Not so hotly. Of course, prices have rebounded quite a bit since the Great Recession, but a few indicators clearly show that things still have quite a way to go - if we assume they are snapping back to where they were even in the early 2000s. Census Homeownership Data This data all comes from Tuesday's Census Bureau release of the … [Read more...]

Income Quantiles by Age: How the 1% Break Down

In our last examination of 2013 CPS data, we took a deeper dive into age groups... and the income those age groups receive when folks report having a Bachelor's degree and working at least 40 hours a week (our benchmark for a full-time job).  As expected, minor age differences (read: 5 years) make a huge difference in what it takes to break into … [Read more...]

Wage Income: A Key Middle Class Marker

Excuse us while we channel Thomas Piketty for a second: the truly affluent, the highest earners... they receive the highest proportion of total income outside their wages: generally from business and investment income. And, turning off the Piketty channel: at the lower ends of the total income spectrum, there is also an increase in non-wage … [Read more...]

5.9% Unemployment – But Where’s Your Raise?

After taking a couple months off in the 'promising figures' category, the unemployment rate seems to have broken back in the direction we all want to see it going: down.  5.9% is the headline figure, and that 5.9% number came with a very promising increase in the nonfarm payroll employment number... 248,000. But... What About the Raises? That's … [Read more...]

The Sudden Collapse of Inflation Expectations

One situation we've been monitoring closely (even before the recent market activity) and has only just started to become a bit dramatic: the rapidly declining inflation expectations among market participants.  One way to follow this measure is to follow the 'breakevens'; by subtracting real yields on inflation protected securities from treasuries, … [Read more...]

Work Harder, Earn More: 2013 Incomes by Hours Worked

"I am a great believer in luck, and I find the harder I work, the more I have of it." - Thomas Jefferson Back in 2011, we wrote a controversial article with a not-that-startling conclusion: breaking respondents to the 2010 CPS down by income brackets, we found that higher earners averaged many more hours of weekly work. Since we've recently … [Read more...]