The income gap continues to grow between affluent Americans and those struggling to get by, with Dallas households near the top of the scale earning more than 12 times as much as those broadly defined as the “working poor,” according to a new study by the Brookings Institution.
The study compared household income of those in the 95th percentile — about $220,000 in Dallas — with those in the 20th percentile, roughly $18,000 a year, said Alan Berube, a senior fellow at Brookings and deputy director of its metropolitan policy program.
The growing disparity isn’t just about rising incomes for upper-class households, Berube said, but rather about shrinking paychecks in poorer households, whose incomes remain 13 percent below levels prior to the recession of 2007-09.
“Eighty-five percent of the people we see have a job, but they make a wage that isn’t sufficient and they’re having their hours cut constantly,” said Tracy Eubanks, chief executive officer of Metrocrest Services, which serves families and the elderly in Carrollton, Farmers Branch, Addison, Coppell and parts of Dallas. “These are people with jobs, barely getting by, often on the brink of being evicted.”