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Spouses head back to work, boost household income in Kansas

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Income growth in Kansas is speeding up.

Median household income in Kansas was $53,906 in 2015, a 2.6 percent increase from the year before, according to the U.S. Census.

That increase matches the total amount of increase between 2011 to 2014.

However, the income remains below the U.S. average in both total amount and speed of growth. The U.S. median household income was $55,775 in 2015, 3.8 percent growth from the prior year.

Median income simply means that half of all households earned more income, while half had less. Average household income is considerably higher because some households earn tremendous incomes, pulling the average up.

Some of the income growth may be coming from having more people going to work following the slow recovery. The Kansas Department of Labor shows about 5,000 more people were working in 2015 than in 2014.

In looking at related state income data, one of the categories seeing the biggest gains is married households, said Jeremy Hill, director of the Center for Economic Development and Business Research at Wichita State University.

“Traditionally structured households saw more growth,” he said. “It could mean that a spouse is re-entering the labor market after being out of work. Nontraditional households could be struggling to find new jobs, or they could already be working.”

Dan Voorhis: 316-268-6577, @danvoorhis

Household income growth for Kansas and nearby states, 2014-15

Area

2015 household income

% growth from year earlier

Colorado

$63,909

4.2

ALL U.S.

$55,775

3.8

Texas

$55,653

4.8

Nebraska

$54,996

4.3

Iowa

$54,736

1.8

Kansas

$53,906

2.6

Missouri

$50,238

3.8

Oklahoma

$48,568

2.1

Arkansas

$41,995

1.7

Source: U.S. Census Bureau

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