Pay Inequality Gap Widens in Greater Hartford; 8th Largest in U.S. Since 2008

If you thought the earnings gap between the “have’s” and “have-nots” in the Greater Hartford region has been widening in recent years, new data indicates your impression is correct.  The Hartford-East Hartford-West Hartford region ranks #8 among the nation’s metropolitan areas with the largest widening gap in employee earnings, when comparing those making less than, or more than, $50,000. The data was compiled from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Between 2008 and 2013, the gap in the increase in pay between those earning less than $50,000 and those making more than $50,000 was $5,347 – the eighth largest gap in the nation.  The pay increase for the lower paid employees since 2008 was an averpay inequalityage of $44, compared with a $5,391 average increase among those earning more than $50,000.

In analyzing the data, Bloomberg ranked the 49 metro areas with the most employed people on the difference in pay since 2008 between those earning more than $50,000 and those earning $50,000 or less.  Occupations with both annual median pay and total employment numbers were included. On average, more than 500 occupations in each Metropolitan Statistical Area were studied.

The widest gap was in the Washington-Arlington-Alexandria metropolitan area, at $9,603, followed by San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara at $7,837, and Riverside-San Bernadino-Ontario at $7,065.  Also with a wider gap than the Hartford region were metropolitan Sacramento ($6,368), theearnings gap New York metropolitan area ($6,243), greater Orlando ($5,895) and metropolitan Oakland ($5,830).

The only big city in the U.S. where the gap between highest and lowest earners has narrowed since 2008 is Memphis, TN.

In the survey methodology, annual pay was employee-weighted and included base salary, cost-of-living allowance, guaranteed pay, hazardous-duty pay and incentive pay - commissions, production bonuses and tips. The analysis was released in December 2013, using the most recent data available.