New Yorkers are working harder and harder, but falling further and further behind. Median family income, adjusted for inflation, declined each year from 2008 to 2011 – nearly 6% throughout the state.
The result is increasing income inequality. Nationally, the top 1% controls 22.5% of income. In New York State, the top 1% controls 30.3%, and in New York City, the number is 38.6%. Our tax system only exacerbates the problem. The top 1% pays 6.9% of their total income in state and local taxes, when you account for the federal offset, while everyone else pays over 10%.
Too many New Yorkers are working full time, but living in poverty. So many others want to work full time, but employers have increasingly created a part time economy with no benefits and abusive scheduling practices.
New York took the first step in raising the minimum wage, but there is more work to be done to lift workers out of poverty.