Report says Pennsylvania’s income growth is ‘lopsided’

     A new report says only the top 1 percent of Pennsylvanians have seen income gains since 2009. A man waits to cross the street near City Hall in Philadelphia. (AP File Photo/Matt Rourke)

    A new report says only the top 1 percent of Pennsylvanians have seen income gains since 2009. A man waits to cross the street near City Hall in Philadelphia. (AP File Photo/Matt Rourke)

    A new report says only the top 1 percent of Pennsylvanians have seen income gains since 2009.

    The Economic Policy Institute and Economic Analysis and Research Network released a report today measuring income growth inequality state by state.

    The report looked at Internal Revenue Service pretax income numbers before and after the Great Recession to determine which portion of income earners have benefited the most from recovery.

    The report found in Pennsylvania between 2009 and 2012, the top 1 percent saw a nearly 30 percent increase in income, but the bottom 99 percent’s income actually went down by about 1 percent. 

    The average income of the top 1% was 24 times greater than the average income of the rest of the population, according to the latest available 2012 data.

    Pennsylvania is hardly the only state that sees a growing income disparity. In the post-recession “recovery” period, between half and ALL income growth went to the top 1 percent in 39 states.

    Mark Price, from the left-leaning Keystone Research Center, co-authored the study with Estelle Sommeiller, from the Institute for Research in Economic and Social Sciences in France.

    “One of the key findings that comes out of this is it doesn’t matter if you’re talking about Alabama or New York State or Connecticut—the pattern is the same across all the states and that is, there’s an increasing amount of income flowing up,” said Price.

    Pennsylvania is 30th among the states when ranked in order of income growth of the top 1 percent.

    Wyoming is ranked number one–the top 1 percent there saw an income increase of 283.6 percent.

    In only one state–West Virginia–did the income of the top 1 percent decline between 2009 – 2012.

    Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

    It will take 126,000 members this year for great news and programs to thrive. Help us get to 100% of the goal.