New figures released by the Census Bureau Tuesday show median household income in 2016 was $59,039 -- more than 3 percent higher than in 2015. And because last year also saw income growth, "these are two consecutive years of strong income gains," the Census Bureau's Trudi Renwick told reporters.

In fact, "that's the highest median income ever recorded, but the Census Bureau cautions that a big change in its survey in 2014 makes historic comparisons very difficult," NPR's John Ydstie reports. "We're essentially back to about the same levels as 2007, just before the Great Recession."

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