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The Three Big Causes of Rising Inequality

November 16, 2012

Our new report, “Pulling Apart,” finds that inequality has grown in every state since the late 1970s, as incomes have risen dramatically at the top of the scale while rising only modestly or even stagnating in the middle and bottom.  There are three broad reasons why.


What’s the Picture on Inequality in Your State?

November 15, 2012

Our new state-by-state report on income inequality includes an infographic like the one below for each state, showing its national ranking and how different income groups in the state have fared over time.  Click here for the infographics....

A State-by-State Look at Inequality

November 15, 2012

Income inequality has grown in all parts of the country since the late 1970s, a major new analysis by CBPP and the Economic Policy Institute finds.  Incomes rose significantly at the top but only modestly for middle- and lower-income households. ...

Strengthening State Budgets for the Long Haul

July 18, 2012

States face serious long-term problems that could slowly undermine their ability to fund education, health care, infrastructure, and other critical needs — just at the time when recovering revenues should be allowing them to start restoring the deep cuts of recent years.


Are State and Local Jobs On the Rebound?

June 29, 2012

A recent USA Today article noted that states and local governments hired more workers (828,000) in the first four months of 2012 than they did in those months last year.  That number is only telling half the story.  Highlighting that figure makes it sound like state and local workforces are getting...

State Surpluses: Welcome News, But Not Enough to Undo Recession’s Damage

June 25, 2012

As states close the books on fiscal year 2012, which ends on June 30 in most states, many expect to end the year with their budgets in the black.  More than half the states reported to the National Conference of State Legislatures in April that their revenues would exceed spending for the year (see...

Five Important Facts About Public Employees

June 18, 2012

Our updated report on state and local workers includes some basic facts that are worth keeping in mind as public employees are once again in the news.

1. Elementary and secondary education comprises — by far — the largest share of state and local government...

Light at the End of the Tunnel for State and Local Pensions?

May 16, 2012

The news for the last several years about underfunded pension programs for teachers, nurses, and other state and local workers has been bad.  But that may be changing.

The stock market’s rebound from its depths in the recession has lifted pension assets substantially over the past two and half years, Federal Reserve data show.  The most recent data show assets at the end...

The Myth of the Overpaid Public Worker, Again

May 11, 2012

Washington Post blogger Jennifer Rubin cites data showing that, on average, total compensation (wages plus benefits) is higher for public-sector workers than private-sector ones — implying that public-sector workers are vastly overpaid.  But it’s an...

Critical Assistance That Ended Too Soon

April 20, 2012

Our new analysis of state budget data shows that emergency federal assistance during the Great Recession enabled states to avert many spending cuts or tax increases that would have further harmed a weak economy — but ended well before the need did.

The 2009 Recovery Act and an extension enacted the...