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Mid-Incomers Suffer in Polarized U.S. Job Market: Economy

Bloomberg (04/11/12) Alex Kowalski

U.S. workers in the top and lower income brackets are benefiting more from the economic recovery than are those in the middle, according to economists at Wells Fargo & Co. and JPMorgan Chase. The highest-paying jobs, which employ approximately 15% of all workers, have accounted for 20% of the job gains since the recovery began, while lower-paying jobs have accounted for 46% of job gains in the same period. Technology has allowed companies to replace middle-income “routine labor” jobs, such as bank tellers.

“Companies have been driving, and continue to drive, for increased productivity, to do more with less, and the tool to do that is technology improvement,” says Jonas Prising, president of Americas for Manpower Inc. “What are getting squeezed are the well-paying jobs with lower-skill levels that used to give a middle-class income.”