The gap between the richest and poorest American communities has widened during the current recovery.
From 2010 to 2013, for example, employment in the most prosperous neighborhoods in the United States jumped by more than a fifth, according to the group’s analysis of Census Bureau data. But in bottom-ranked neighborhoods, the number of jobs fell sharply: One in 10 businesses closed down.
“It’s almost like you are looking at two different countries,” said Steve Glickman, executive director of the Economic Innovation Group, which created a new tool called the Distressed Communities Index.
And while Chicago doesn’t figure among the ten most distressed cities, large areas of the city (colored in dark red in the map above) figure high on the economic distress index—with large percentages of adults without a high-school degree, high poverty rates, large percentages of adults not working, high housing vacancy rates, low median income compared to the state’s average, negative changes in employment, and a loss of businesses.
In other words, while some communities have indeed experience some kind of recovery, many other areas remain mired in a Second Great Depression.