Skyrocketing income and wealth inequality have received considerable attention recently. The gap between the richest and poorest households in the U.S. is now the largest it has been in the last five decades. Since 1978, CEO compensation has increased by 940%, compared to only 12% for typical workers. In Maine, the richest 5% of households have average incomes roughly 10 times as large as the bottom 20% of households.
Moreover, racial inequality compounds these problems for people of color in Maine. The Maine Center for Economic Policy’s 2019 State of Working Maine shows that jobs held by workers of color offer poorer working conditions, fewer benefits and less predictable schedules.