Saturday, October 18, 2014

US Inequality still widening

Janet Yellen, the US Federal Reserve chairwoman, said at the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston Economic Conference on Inequality of Economic Opportunity “The wealthiest 5 percent of American households held 54 percent of all wealth reported in the 1989 survey. Their share rose to 61 percent in 2010 and reached 63 percent in 2013,” she said, adding, “By contrast, the rest of those in the top half of the wealth distribution --families that in 2013 had a net worth between $81,000 and $1.9 million -- held 43 percent of wealth in 1989 and only 36 percent in 2013.”

The Fed chair went on to say that the lower half of households by wealth held only three percent of wealth in 1989 and just one percent last year. She said that income and wealth inequality are at their highest levels since the 19th century. “The distribution of income and wealth in the United States has been widening more or less steadily for several decades, to a greater extent than in most advanced countries.”

A study by Harvard University Business School revealed that while large US companies were recovering their competitiveness internationally, workers continue to struggle for better pay and benefits.

No comments: