Photographer: Michael Nagle/Bloomberg

Study Says New York City's Richest People Benefited Most From the Recovery

  • Tax returns show that NYC’s lowest wage earners lost ground
  • Study from 2006 to 2014 includes Mayor de Blasio’s first year

New York City’s richest residents gained most in the recovery from the 2007 financial crisis, while the bottom half lost ground.

The Independent Budget Office, a nonpartisan public fiscal monitor, said it examined annual samples of 770,700 personal tax returns to determine income distribution among New Yorkers from 2006 to 2014, adjusting the data for inflation.

During that nine-year span, median income among the top 50 percent of New York earners remained about $65,000, while that of the bottom half dropped 13 percent to $12,360. The top 1 percent took home 41 percent of the city’s income distribution in 2014, a slight increase from 2006. Income from the bottom half totaled 5.6 percent, a decline of 1.8 percentage points.

“We can see evidence of growing income inequality in the city,” said IBO spokesman Doug Turetsky. “The share of income going to New York City’s highest earners, the top 1 percent -- and even more specifically the top 0.1 percent -- has grown.”

Mayor Bill de Blasio, 55, made reversing a decades-long trend of growing income inequality a signature issue of his 2013 campaign. As he seeks re-election this year, he is focused on a more tangible issue, making the city more affordable.

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