The rich get richer

Connecticut Voices for Children has released the "State of Working Connecticut 2012."

The gap between rich and poor continues to widen, the report finds, adding that the recovery has not helped minorities and young workers. Left unchecked, our economic trajectory "will leave our next generation worse off than the previous one."

Solutions include public support for high-quality universal preschool and community colleges and universities and investing in initiatives to fight poverty, raise wages and support families.

Median wages statewide fell for the second straight year -- but those earning wages above the 90th percentile saw their wages increase by 11% from 2006 to 2011. "Workers with wages below the 10th percentile saw their wages fall slightly over the same period," the report says, "by -0.2%."

Other findings:

  • "Connecticut's black and Hispanic workers have not had a recovery." In 2011, the unemployment rate for black workers was 17.3% - for Hispanics, 17.8%.
  • Connecticut's private sector is recovering faster than its public sector.
  • Higher-paying manufacturing jobs are disappearing and being replaced by lower-paying jobs in healthcare, hotels and restaurants.
  • Increasingly, a college education is required for a good job in Connecticut.

The report examines unemployment data, job sector data and wage data, analyzing the state as a whole and by race, gender, educational attainment, and by nine labor market areas.

CAHS and Connecticut Voices for Children are members of Better Choices for Connecticut, which advocates for a more progressive tax structure, including higher income taxes on the state's top earners and greater transparency and accountability for businesses.

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