As the Economy Grows, So Does the Wage Gap in New Orleans

09:30 July 20, 2018
By: Hannah Robideaux

It’s no secret that America has a huge income inequality problem—with the 1% percent making far more than the remaining 99% of households—and the Economic Policy Institute just came out with a report explaining how each state’s income inequality statistics measure up. 

Since the Great Recession, the country’s 1% has captured an average of 41.8 percent of the income growth. In Louisiana, the 1% has only captured 3.7 percent of the income growth, but that doesn’t mean we’re equal down here. 

Louisiana’s 1% makes, at a minimum, $318,393 per year, but on average, they make $814,386 per year. In Orleans Parish, the state’s most unequal parish, it’s even worse, with the 1% making an average of $1,200,767 per year. In both Orleans Parish and Louisiana as a whole, the 99% makes about $41,500 annually. 

This means that the Louisiana 1% makes 18.1 times more than what the 99% makes, and in Orleans Parish, the 1% makes 29 times more than the 99%. Because of this data, Louisiana has been ranked as the 33rd most unequal state (at least we’re under the halfway mark), but Orleans Parish has been ranked as the 97th most unequal parish or county. This might seem very low, but when the US has over 3,000 counties and county-equivalents, this means that Orleans Parish is in the top 3 percent of most unequal parishes and counties. Opelousas was ranked as the most unequal metropolitan area in Louisiana, but even their wage gap is less than in Orleans Parish, with the 1% in Opelousas making 26.5 times more than the 99%. It’s a small victory for them though.

The really upsetting part is that even Mississippi (ranked #41 in national income inequality) is doing better than New Orleanians, with the 1% in Mississippi making only 16.4 times more than the 99%. 

Obviously, income inequality is a very important issue that needs to be dealt with on both large and small scales for the general betterment of society. Come on, Louisiana! Get your act together before your citizens decide to move to Mississippi for better income equality. 

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