Income distribution, inequality and poverty

Pulling apart: The continuing impact of income polarization in New York State

November 15, 2012. A new report from the Fiscal Policy Institute shows that various income measures all point toward the same conclusions:  In recent years, polarization has intensified; and New York has been one of the national leaders in this undesirable trend. The top one percent share of income dipped during the recession, but has started to rise again in the recovery. Further, no state is more polarized than New York and no large city is more polarized than New … (read more)

NYC’s Rising Poverty and Falling Incomes Since the Great Recession

September 27, 2012. The latest data from the Census Bureau on poverty and incomes in 2011 clearly show that New York City has a long way to go to make up for the erosion in living standards caused by the Great Recession of 2008-09. Since the start of the recession, 200,000 more city residents have fallen into poverty, bringing the total to 1.7 million out of a population of 8.1 million.  For 2011, the federal poverty threshold for a 3-person … (read more)

New poverty and income inequality data should be a call to action

September 21, 2012. Data released by the Census Bureau yesterday casts additional light on New York’s high poverty rate and its extreme income inequality. The poverty situation is particularly dire in the Upstate cities and among children. When those two factors are looked at together, alarm bells should be going off in policymakers’ offices.

More than half the children in Rochester and Syracuse lived in poverty in 2011 and Buffalo (46.8%), Schenectady (50.8%) and Albany (37%) were not far behind. … (read more)

Health insurance coverage up in New York

September 12, 2012. One piece of good news from the Census Bureau data released today is an increase in the percentage of people with health insurance in New York State and across the country in 2011.

The share of New Yorkers without health insurance dropped last year, according to preliminary state Census Bureau figures. Roughly one in eight New Yorkers did not have health insurance coverage in 2011, a decrease of three percent from 2010. A similar, though less pronounced, … (read more)

16 percent in the Empire State lived in poverty – two years running

September 12, 2012. Earlier today, the U.S. Census Bureau released its Current Population Survey (CPS) poverty estimates for 2011 for the nation and the 50 states. The release also included revised estimates for 2010.

The overriding message of the poverty data released today is that the poverty rate remains much too high – demonstrating the continuing impact of the Great Recession and the tepid and tenuous economic recovery. (The poverty rate is the percentage of people living below the federal … (read more)

Employment Patterns in NYC’s Low-Income Neighborhoods

September 12, 2012. James Parrott presented an overview of income and earnings to the New York City Workforce Funders, a group that meets quarterly to share information about workforce issues and enhance the effectiveness of New York City’s workforce development programs.… (read more)

Mind the income gap: Rich-and-poor divide continues

May 27, 2012. A letter to the editor by Frank Mauro and James Parrott, Crain’s New York Business.

Greg David’s recent blog post on income inequality (“Flash: Inequality falls dramatically in NYC”) leaves out an important part of the story. Yes, incomes of the top 1% fell during the 2008-09 recession, and the top 1% share of total income declined. But since then, income polarization has clearly resumed.

Berkeley economist Emmanuel Saez reported in early March that the top 1% … (read more)

New York’s Unemployment Crisis and Income Polarization: Looking to State Policy for Solutions

December 2, 2011. A presentation by James Parrott at the Center for Working Families’ 2011 NYS policy conference: Good Ideas in Hard and Exciting Times: Policies for New York’s 99%. The last two slides show the overall regressivity of the New York State and New York City tax systems.… (read more)

Scant recovery for workers in NYC: Young workers see gains, but unemployment worsens for older workers

July 20, 2011. This report, the latest on “The State of Working NYC,” finds several crosscurrents in the first year after the job market bottomed out in NYC. Young workers (ages 16-21 and 22-27) gained in the recovery, contrary to the national trend of decreasing employment rates for these age groups. Unfortunately, older workers too bucked the trend: nationally they made small gains, but in NYC they fared worst of all age groups. While NYC’s job growth outpaced the nation’s … (read more)

Who’s Fudging What?

February 1, 2011. A response to an editorial in the New York Post, which argued that New York’s extreme income polarization is not a problem.… (read more)