Report says wage and unemployment gap is increasing

The advocacy group Connecticut Voices for Children releases their jobs report every year around Labor Day. And the say this year’s report shows Connecticut is increasingly becoming a state of “haves” and “have nots”. The report says the middle income jobs, like manufacturing, that don’t necessarily require a four year degree, are disappearing, and being replaced by lower paying jobs in areas like healthcare, hotels and restaurants.

Listen to the story here:

“Probably the most striking thing we’ve seen is that CT’s middle class is being hollowed out and wealth is increasingly being concentrated among the state’s wealthiest citizens, says CVfC’s Kenny Feder. “Over the recent economic recession and recovery, the highest wage workers enjoyed wage growth 4 times that of median wage workers, while wages stagnated for low wage workers.”

This chart from the report illustrates his point:

A chart from the report showing how much more high income workers made than the median income level in Conn. (solid line)

While more of Connecticut’s jobs are paying less, there’s also more unemployment at the lower end of the economic spectrum. The unemployment disparities are most pronounced in the study when looking at race and ethnicity in the state. In 2011, more than 17% of Blacks and nearly 18 percent of Hispanics were unemployed, compared to just over 7% of Whites. And age makes a difference. The unemployment for younger people, the 16 to 24 year olds who are out looking for jobs, is over 18 percent, more than double the state average.

Connecticut Voices for Children is using their latest report to urge lawmakers to strengthen the state’s education system, as well as invest in job training programs and raise the state’s minimum wage.

Read the full report here.

Conn. invests in affordable housing in “Gold Coast”

Lisa Joyner-Kendall washes dishes in her public housing home in Stamford. Joyner-Kendall hopes to soon be able to afford to buy her own home.

A commitment by Connecticut to spend $500 million on affordable housing over the next 10 years might help an affordable housing crunch on the the state’s Gold Coast. Darien has a median home price of more than $1 million, making affordable housing hard to come by. WSHU’s Kaomi Goetz reports a recent groundbreaking at a development in Darien underscores both the need and the difficulty of creating new units. Listen here:


Governor Malloy and other public officials break ground at the Darien housing complex

The 106 rental units and new community center called ‘The Heights of Darien’ are being built with nearly $30 million dollars in federal and state tax credits. The town is also kicking in local support.

One thing the rich and poor in Conn. have in common

Usually on this blog we talk about all the differences between the very rich and very poor in Connecticut. Well, here’s something they have in common – they like Governor Dannel Malloy. Mark Pazniokas of CT Mirror noticed in the latest Quinnipiac University poll that the rich and poor like Malloy better than the people in the middle. He writes, “Voters in households earning less than $30,000 annually approve, 47 percent to 37 percent. He is favored 48 percent to 43 percent by voters with household incomes above $100,000.” He also points out that regardless of income, everybody disapproves of the General Assembly.