Income inequality grows in the Washington suburbs


By Margaret Sessa-Hawkin | Maryland Reporter

While much of the D.C. region has bounced back from the recession, certain segments of the population are benefitting from this recovery more than others, a new report from the Maryland Center on Economic Policy, the D.C. Fiscal Policy Institute, and the Commonwealth Institute found.

The report, “Bursting the Bubble” shows that mirroring a national trend, income inequality has been growing over the past few years in the D.C. Metro area, even during the economic recovery. Towards its end, the report lists several policy suggestions to address the disparity. The Maryland counties included in the report were Frederick, Montgomery, Prince George’s, Calvert, and Charles County.

This inequality is most visible when examining real wages, or wages that have been controlled for inflation. While real wages for those earning over over $43 per hour increased by $4.11 from 2007 to 2012, real wages for those earning above $22 per hour have increased by just 16 cents, according to the report. Real wages for those earning less than $11.89 per hour have actually decreased by 71 cents.

This trend of growing income inequality is also seen in other areas of the country. From the 1980s to the early naughts, the U.S.had the largest growth in income inequality of all OECD countries excepting Mexico.

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