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Are You Better Off Than 10 Years Ago?

The progress of humanity moves inexorably slow, but there is irrefutable evidence that Americans are better off than they were 10 years ago - about 20% better off.

Real disposable personal income grew 2.2% at an average annual rate since the end of the last recession.

That's 2.2% more income after taxes and inflation annually for 10 years - 22% in the last 10 years!

Household net worth has skyrocketed in recent years, soaring in the current expansion far beyond the peak of mid-2007.

Real average hourly earnings are up 9.9% from the bottom of The Great Recession in mid-2008.

Real wages boomed during this expansion, although politicians and the financial press have incorrectly focused on before-inflation wage figures and, therefore, have totally misinformed the American public for years about wage growth.

And, busting another myth, blue-collar workers have seen the exact same 9.9% growth in their wages after inflation for the last decade as the overall workforce.

While the belief that blue-collar workers have not had a pay raise for years is widespread, it has little basis in fact.

These are literally the REAL numbers and they show blue-collar workers have not been left behind in this expansion.

Blue-collar workers are right there with the rest of us in real wage growth.

On Friday, the unemployment rate dropped to 3.9%, the lowest point since 2000. In addition, 164,000 new American jobs were added in April. According to The New York Times, it was the 91st consecutive month of gains and by far the longest streak of increases on record.

The stock market rose sharply and closed on Friday at 2663.42, not far from its all-time high. With expected earnings strong, the stock market is fairly valued.

Over the last 10 years, $1 invested in America's 500 largest public companies grew to $2.48.

From the stock market's low point on March 9, 2009, $1 grew four and three-quarter times in value, to $4.72, a 372% return!

What's ahead?

The next decade is sure to be different from the past 10 years.

We're here to help you plan for your life based on real facts.


Notes from BLS: The Current Employment Statistics (CES) program produces nonfarm employment series for all employees (AE), production and nonsupervisory employees (PE), and women employees (WE). For AE and PE, CES also produces average hourly earnings (AHE), average weekly hours (AWH), and, in manufacturing industries only, average weekly overtime hours (AWOH).

AE average hours and earnings data are derived from reports of hours and payrolls for all employees. PE average hours and earnings data are derived from reports of production and related employees in manufacturing and mining and logging, construction employees in construction, and nonsupervisory employees in private service-providing industries.

AHE includes 100% of non-farm private employees, and excludes benefits and employers' share of payroll taxes. AHE adjusted by the personal consumption expenditures deflator.

This article was written by a veteran financial journalist based on data compiled and analyzed by independent economist, Fritz Meyer. While these are sources we believe to be reliable, the information is not intended to be used as financial advice without consulting a professional about your personal situation. Indices are unmanaged and not available for direct investment. Investments with higher return potential carry greater risk for loss. Past performance is not an indicator of your future results.


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This article was written by a professional financial journalist for NelsonCorp Wealth Management and is not intended as legal or investment advice.

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