U.S. Income Inequality Has Gotten Even Worse

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The difference in income between the wealthy and the rest of us is much more vast than it is in 25 other developed nations.

Income inequality in the U.S. more closely matches that in Uganda than in the United Kingdom. And it’s getting worse.

That’s just one interesting fact gleaned from a new report by the International Institute for Labour Studies, which examined employment, inequality and investment trends in both advanced and developing countries.

Here’s a sample of what it shows:

  • Income inequality is increasing in 14 advanced economies including the U.S., but the U.S. is by far the worst. Its bar on the graph literally wouldn’t fit on the same chart as other developed nations, so it wasn’t drawn to scale.
  • The American middle class continues to shrink, falling from 61 percent of the population in 1970 to 51 percent in 2010; median income declined 5 percent over that period, adjusted for inflation.
  • From 2007 to 2011, average U.S. CEO pay among the largest firms grew by 10 percent. In 2011, it was 508 times larger than the compensation of the average employee, far higher than in any other country examined. The next closest was the U.K., where it was 228 times the average.
  • Employment rates beat pre-crisis levels in 30 percent of the countries analyzed, are not fully recovered in 37 percent, and have continued to get worse in the rest. The U.S. is in the second group, but almost half of advanced economies are in the last group.

What do you make of the findings? Is the average company CEO really worth 508 of his employees? It’s certainly not normal by global standards. Tell us what you think on Facebook.

Stacy Johnson

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