As the chart above details, the 35-54yr/old segments have the highest incomes and it follows they do the greatest share of the spending...but what isn't shown but also important is that the 35-54yr/old group also takes out the greatest portion of credit.
To sum the chart above, job gains since '00 came among the two groups with the lowest income and spending capabilities while those at the peak of their earnings / spending have outright declined:
The chart below shows the change in the number of households from '00 through '15 per age group and change in household income over that period (change in 2015 dollars). As above, all growth is among the 55+yr/old segment.
And again in the chart below, the changes in number of households and income. Household growth is among the 65+yr/olds and nearly all income growth also among the 65+yr/olds. How the Fed can't understand why consumers aren't consuming like "normal" is pretty amazing.
Among those who earn and spend at the fastest rates (35-54yr/olds in the chart below) the rapid growth in employees from 1980 to 2000 is plain to see, nearly doubling the working population in that time. But since 2000, everything has changed. In particular, the declines since 2008 among the most economically important segment are like nothing seen in our lifetime:
- <-4.6> million employees
- <-2.4> million households
- <-$600> hundred annual income
So, the only answer is cheaper debt and more debt and the chart below details the rise of federal debt (marketable) per 25-54yr/old employee since 1970. Each of the 98+ million employed 25-54yr/olds "only" owe $147,000 (in addition to their annual taxes) to settle America's affairs. Their bill has nearly tripled in the nine years since 2008 but unfortunately their income has done nothing of the sort.
The US won't be getting back to "normal" growth anytime soon...and "normal" never was normal to begin with.