Income distribution, inequality and poverty

New Census Data Show Improvement in Poverty and Incomes in New York State

September 19, 2016. New York has reason to be optimistic as poverty is declining and incomes are on the upswing, according to new data from the U.S. Census Bureau.

FPI notes that there were significant declines in the overall poverty rates for New York State and New York City in 2015 from 2014 (but no other significant year-over-year changes).

The New York State poverty rate for 2015 was 15.4%, down 0.5% from 2014 (15.9%) resulting in approximately 90,000 fewer New … (read more)

New York State Leads Nation in Income Inequality

June 16, 2016. In Income inequality in the US by state, metropolitan area, and county, a new report published by the Economic Policy Institute (EPI) for the Economic Analysis and Research Network (EARN), Mark Price, an economist at the Keystone Research Center in Harrisburg, PA and Estelle Sommeiller, a socio-economist at the Institute for Research in Economic and Social Sciences in Greater Paris, France detail the incomes of the top 1 percent and the bottom 99 percent by state, … (read more)

Heights of Privilege

June 2, 2016. The following article by James Parrott appeared in the Spring 2016 issue of The American Prospect magazine.

If you want to learn about the latest manifestations of inequality in urban America, read the real-estate sections of newspapers and magazines and check out the photo spreads on luxury condos in new residential skyscrapers. The palatial size, lavish finishes, and breathtaking price tags of these properties are advertisements of our new Gilded Age. In the area immediately south of … (read more)

New York State Economic and Fiscal Outlook FY 2017

February 3, 2016. In its 26th annual New York State budget briefing book, the Fiscal Policy Institute analyzes and comments on Governor Andrew Cuomo’s FY 2017 Executive Budget.

The Executive Budget advances some bold and progressive proposals that well reflect the values and needs of New Yorkers. In particular, the governor has shown great leadership and vision in forcefully advocating for a first-in-the nation statewide $15 minimum wage. If enacted, the minimum wage increase would lift the incomes of … (read more)

Business profits in New York State have grown much faster than wages since 2001

December 1, 2015. In a new analysis, the Fiscal Policy Institute finds that business profits per worker in New York State increased by 61% from 2001-13, while labor compensation per worker has risen by only 34%, and the typical worker received wage increases of 25-29%, much less than inflation.

James Parrott, the Institute’s Deputy Director and Chief Economist stated: “These data confirm once again that most workers in New York have not been sharing in the fruits of the … (read more)

Testimony at the Joint Legislative Public Hearing on the 2015-2016 Executive Budget – Human Services

February 4, 2015. Submitted by Elizabeth McNichol, FPI Senior Fellow. Testimony includes: recommendations for the 2015-2016 state fiscal year; a summary and analysis of actual and proposed reductions in Human Services spending; use of federal Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) funding in the 2015-2016 Executive Budget; and, the impact of decline in the purchasing power of the monthly cash assistance grant.… (read more)

New York’s Top 1% See All Income Gains Since Recession

January 26, 2015. The incomes of the top 1 percent in New York State were nearly 50 times more than the bottom 99 percent in 2012, according to new analysis published by the Economic Policy Institute for the Economic Analysis and Research Network (EARN). The Fiscal Policy Institute is a founding member of the EARN network. In The Increasingly Unequal States of America: Income Inequality by State, 1917 to 2012, economists Estelle Sommelier and Mark Price update their analysis … (read more)

NYC Median Family Income Up for First Time since Great Recession

October 15, 2014. After five years of decline, median family income in New York City rose by 3.5 percent between 2012 and 2013 in inflation-adjusted terms, according to recently-published Census data.[1] This compares with increases of 0.9 percent at the national level and 1.6 percent for all of New York State, including the city.

While the city’s increase far surpassed the nation’s and state’s, median family income in the city was still 5.2 percent lower in 2013 than it … (read more)

Hundreds of thousands of low-income families would benefit from a New York minimum wage increase

July 17, 2014. David Neumark’s piece in the July 6 Wall Street Journal (“Who Really Gets the Minimum Wage?”) argues that because some low-wage earners are in high-income families, increasing the minimum wage isn’t a very effective way to reduce poverty. In particular, he cites research to the effect that “if we were to raise the minimum wage to $10.10 nationally, 18% of the benefits of the higher wages (holding employment fixed) would go to poor families [but] 29% would … (read more)

New report confirms New York’s profound income polarization

February 19, 2014. A new report from the Economic Analysis and Research Network (EARN) that presents data on income distribution trends for all 50 states from 1917-2011, confirms an analysis of income trends in New York that the Fiscal Policy Institute initially published in 2010. The report, by economists Estelle Sommeiller and Mark Price, builds on a groundbreaking study by economists Thomas Piketty and Emmanual Saez in 2003 that used data from income tax returns to document rising inequality in … (read more)