OECD report says record inequality hurting rich nations' development

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OECD report says record inequality hurting rich nations' development

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An OECD study says inequality between the rich and poor in most of the world’s advanced economies is at a record high.

The report also found huge differences in incomes between men and women.

On average in the OECD’s 34 countries the richest 10% of the population earns nearly 10 times the income of the poorest 10%. In the 1980s the ratio was 7 to 1.

The report found inequality to be highest in Chile, Mexico, Turkey, the United States and Israel among OECD countries.

It was lowest in Denmark, Slovenia, Slovak Republic and Norway.

Wealth differences are even more pronounced. The top 1% owns 18% of everything, while the bottom 40% only accounts for 3% of household wealth.

“Inequality in OECD countries is at its highest since records began,” said OECD Secretary-General Angel Gurria. “By not addressing
inequality, governments are cutting into the social fabric of their countries and hurting their long-term economic growth,” he added.

An increase in part-time and temporary work contracts as well as self-employment was seen as an important driver of increased inequality, with half of all jobs created in OECD countries between 1995 and 2013 falling into these categories.