It could be a lot worse. Even though the top 1 percent of earners in New Jersey have incomes 27 times that of the average worker, the inequality of income in other states seems to be much worse, according to the Economic Policy Institute, a Washington think tank.
Nationally, the rate is 29.8 and growing, causing economists to raise the alarm that this is one of the key problems facing America. And while New Jersey’s top earners may be pulling down 27 times that of the average Garden State resident, in Connecticut it is 51 times; New York, 48.4 times; Florida, 43.3; California, 34.9; Massachusetts, 34.5; and Texas 32.5.
Since New Jersey, despite its economic doldrums, still has the third- or fourth-highest income in the country, it must be assumed that economic inequality is not as terrible as other states because most people have somewhat high incomes. EPI has cited a study from the University of California at Berkeley that says between 2009 and 2012, the top 1 percent of earners captured 95 percent of total income growth. In New Jersey, the top 1 percent captured 80.5 percent of income growth.