AP News: Income gap widens as American factories shut down

David and Barbara Ludwig pose for a portrait at their home Wednesday, May 28, 2014, in Reading, Pa. The Ludwigs lost their manufacturing jobs and have been struggling financially ever since. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

David and Barbara Ludwig pose for a portrait at their home Wednesday, May 28, 2014, in Reading, Pa. The Ludwigs lost their manufacturing jobs and have been struggling financially ever since. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

The Associated Press quoted Howard Wial, executive director of the Center for Urban Economic Development, on the effect of lost manufacturing jobs in the U.S. Wial says those displaced stay unemployed or underemployed for a long time.

“A loss of manufacturing has contributed to the decline of the middle class,” said Howard Wial, an economist with the Brookings Institution and the University of Illinois at Chicago. “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.”

Globalization, automation and recession destroyed nearly 6 million manufacturing jobs between 2000 and 2009. In Pennsylvania, between 2001 and 2011, 258,000 middle-income factory jobs were lost. At the same time, Pennsylvania added jobs at the lower end of the wage spectrum — in health care and social services — and at the highest end, in sectors like management and finance.

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