November 19, 2012. Karen DeWitt of the Innovation Trail writes about FPI’s report: Pulling apart: The continuing impact of income polarization in New York State.

“We no longer have a growing middle class with rising living standards,” Parrott said.

Those on the bottom rungs of the economic ladder are stagnating, the report finds. The state’s overall poverty rate is unchanged since 1980, but poverty has been increasing in upstate cities like Buffalo, Rochester and Syracuse, as people with any wealth have moved to the suburbs. 50 percent of children in those cities now live below the federal poverty level, says Parrott.

“That’s pretty horrendous,” said Parrott.

The Fiscal Policy Institute report recommends one key policy change that could help the poorest families, raising the minimum wage.