Washington Monthly posted an interesting Detroit Free Press article about the decline in median income nationwide. Today, Washington Monthly updated the story with more accurate figures. The end result was that Connecticut shows a drop in median income from 1999's $59,835 to 2005's $56,835. Our neighboring states did much better, with New York and Massachusetts increasing, Mass an outstanding 8.67%, and Rhode Island slipping slightly by 1.1%.
Considering that Connecticut has one of the highest median incomes to begin with, and that our economy is not reliant on a large base manufacturing industries, this decline is somewhat puzzling. Or maybe not. As Connecticut continues to grapple with an aging population that transitions out of the workforce, housing and other cost of living expenses continue to rise. Without a good labor pool, companies may continue to leave Connecticut, and further the transition of high paying jobs into low paying service-oriented jobs. Connecticut cannot sustain a viable economy by refinancing, redecorating and retailing alone.
Creating economic growth in Connecticut should be an important priority for our Gubernatorial candidates. Forward thinking has been lacking in this stealth campaign.