New York mayor Bill de Blasio assumed office in January 2014, promising to “take dead aim at the Tale of Two Cities . . . [and] put an end to economic and social inequalities that threaten to unravel the city we love.” As his administration nears the end of its third year, his promise remains unfulfilled.
- Household income inequality has risen moderately since the end of the Great Recession in June 2009, and since the beginning of the current mayor’s term in January 2014.
- Earned income inequality has also risen moderately, as measured by Theil’s Index, also called “Theil’s T.” Unlike the better-known Gini coefficient, Theil’s Index allows researchers to more rapidly predict inequality in cities as measured by income-tax data, using the most recent wage and employment data.
- Earned income inequality in New York is driven almost entirely by the city’s specialization in the financial sector. Finance employs 4% of the labor force but accounts for 19% of city wages and salaries.