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Pandemic increases pace of worsening income and wealth inequality

Posted January 1, 2021 5:19 p.m. EST

— Growing income inequality had been an issue in the United States for quite some time, but the pandemic and its economic fallout only exacerbated that issue in 2020.

NC State economist Mike Walden says many of those who have done well, continue to do well.

While at the same time, struggles have only worsened for so many others.

"I think we are not going to see the restaurant business, for example, back to where it was pre-pandemic," he said. "A lot of jobs there lost."

Workers were also badly hit in other sectors – the airlines, restaurants, hotels and mall-based retailers.

At the same time, other places of the economy, like the tech industry, did quite well.

Walden says employment numbers there are higher than before the pandemic.

And if you had money to invest in the stock market, you may have also ended 2020 as a winner. 11:49

"Clearly over the last couple months, the market has been looking ahead and saying, 'We see much brighter days ahead,'" Walden said. "That is fundamentally why stock market values are up."

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