Income inequality is growing in California, USA – Orange County Register
“Survey Says” looks at various rankings and scorecards that assess geographic locations and finds that these grades are best viewed as a mix of artistic interpretation and data.
Buzz: Income inequality increased in California and across the country during the first two years of the pandemic era.
Source: My trusty spreadsheet analyzed new household income data from the US Census Bureau and compared pre-pandemic 2019 and 2021. The Bureau’s research tracked the spread between the highest-paid and lowest-paid workers using the geeky “Gini” scale to measure inequality.
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The last two years have not been good for the lower paid workers. Her work typically focuses on consumer-facing service jobs in companies that have been disproportionately impacted by lockdowns. Or it was work that couldn’t be done remotely.
In California, a hub for leisure and hospitality jobs, income inequality rose 1% in 2019-21 as the leisure industry was slow to recover from the coronavirus cold.
But California wasn’t alone, with 40 states having income inequality. And California’s jump was only the No. 29’s biggest. Nationally, the income gap rose 0.8% as 2021 marked the first rise in inequality in a decade.
Most of the largest increases in income inequality occurred in countries that benefited from pandemic-era population inflows. Relocation was most often possible for people with money and jobs that could be done outside of the office.
Wyoming had the largest increase, followed by Idaho, West Virginia, Utah and Maine. Inequality improved the most in Oklahoma, Indiana, Mississippi, New Hampshire and North Dakota.
Please note that according to Gini math, high-income inequality is not only concentrated in high-income countries.
Yes, high-paying California had the fifth-highest Gini inequality score in the country as of 2021. And the top three were also states with higher-paying jobs—Washington, DC, New York, and Connecticut.
But No. 4 for inequality—perhaps surprisingly—was low-income Louisiana.
Incidentally, Florida had the seventh highest inequality and Texas was 17th. Both have below-average household incomes.
And the lowest inequality was found in high-income New Hampshire. That was just ahead of Alaska, Utah, Wisconsin and Indiana.
So let’s take a look at the extremes of household incomes in 2021. You’ll notice that several states have problems with inequality.
California has the 6th highest median household income in 2021 at $84,907. That was surpassed only by Maryland at $90,203, then DC at $90,088, Massachusetts at $89,645, New Jersey at $89,296, and New Hampshire at $88,465.
Note that Texas was 24th with $66,963 and Florida was 37th with $63,062, versus $69,717 earned statewide.
The lowest incomes were found in Mississippi at $48,716, then West Virginia at $51,248, Louisiana at $52,087, Arkansas at $52,528, and Alabama at $53,913.
A different view
In a way, it’s about making sure the rich don’t get poorer.
This widening of inequality occurred in two years during which household income – adjusted for inflation – barely changed in large parts of the country.
California’s 0.4% drop in income in 2019 was ranked the 27th best performer among states. Texas was 33rd, down 1.3%. And Florida was 18th, down 0.5%.
And nationally, incomes increased by 0.1% in those two years.
Pandemic moves helped boost incomes at the state level. Vermont was up 8.5%, then New Hampshire was up 7.1%, Arizona was up 5%, South Dakota was up 4.8%, and Montana was up 4.4%.
Conversely, in countries with large inequality problems, there have been some large falls in income. This is further evidence that income declines hit low-income households harder.
DC was #1 down 7.9%, then Wyoming down 5.3%, Delaware down 4.4%, Louisiana down 3.8% and Hawaii down 3.6%.
These have been two painful years for many low-wage workers. For example, employers in the service industry have faced a slow business recovery due to the coronavirus restrictions.
But the strong recovery in restaurants, entertainment and tourism in 2022 could narrow the income gap. Growing prospects of an impending recession may also mean that improvements in inequality may be short-lived.
Jonathan Lansner is a business columnist for the Southern California News Group. He can be reached at email@example.com
https://www.ocregister.com/2022/10/17/rich-get-richer-income-inequality-grows-in-california-us/ Income inequality is growing in California, USA – Orange County Register