We’ve heard from 90.7’s economic analyst Hank Fishkind that both the U.S. economy and Florida’s look good…on paper. But many people still think the economy is on the wrong track because they’re not feeling the recovery.
Fishkind says there are several factors contributing to this disconnect between economic growth and public perception. One is that the rate of growth has been slow, and another is that wages have stagnated. But also, he says, the recovery has been uneven.
Over the last 30 years the top 20% of income earners have received nearly all the growth in income. The middle 40% have been stagnant for 30 years, and the bottom 40% have had significant declines in their real incomes. Small wonder, then, that many people do not believe that recent economic growth has directly benefited them – it hasn’t.
Florida is actually somewhat worse. The state has enjoyed much stronger economic growth than has the U.S. overall, but wages have been stagnant. Yet, growth for the upper 20% of income earners has been even faster in Florida than in the nation, widening the income growth gap in Florida.
This growing disparity in Florida arises from the composition of our job growth with many lower-paying service sector jobs being created during this recovery process.