Income Gap Widens As American Factories Shut Down

Workers assemble Motorola phones at the Flextronics plant in Fort Worth, Texas

Workers assemble Motorola phones at the Flextronics plant in Fort Worth, TexasThe middle class in the United States has gotten worst over the years.  Why is it that a middle class that lived comfortably now suffering to keep its finances together?

Perhaps much of this could be explained through the closing of factories across the U.S. where workers went from earning  $22 an hour down to $10 an hour.  Companies like Baldwin Hardware, a unit of Stanley Black & Decker Corp. laid workers off.  Decline in jobs in the manufacturing industry is the reasons why there is a wider gap between the rich and the poor.

Howard Wial, an economist with the Brookings Institution and the University of Illinois at Chicago says, “People who are displaced from high-paying manufacturing jobs spend a long time unemployed, and when they take other jobs, those jobs generally pay substantially less.”

How do families survive if they are unemployed for long periods of time and then have to settle for a job that pays half of their regular income?

According to U.S. Census Bureau, “the wealth gap became even more pronounced, increasing 15.8 percent.”

It will be interesting to see how the middle class will recover from this loss in income.

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