Report says wage and unemployment gap is increasing

The advocacy group Connecticut Voices for Children releases their jobs report every year around Labor Day. And the say this year’s report shows Connecticut is increasingly becoming a state of “haves” and “have nots”. The report says the middle income jobs, like manufacturing, that don’t necessarily require a four year degree, are disappearing, and being replaced by lower paying jobs in areas like healthcare, hotels and restaurants.

Listen to the story here:

“Probably the most striking thing we’ve seen is that CT’s middle class is being hollowed out and wealth is increasingly being concentrated among the state’s wealthiest citizens, says CVfC’s Kenny Feder. “Over the recent economic recession and recovery, the highest wage workers enjoyed wage growth 4 times that of median wage workers, while wages stagnated for low wage workers.”

This chart from the report illustrates his point:

A chart from the report showing how much more high income workers made than the median income level in Conn. (solid line)

While more of Connecticut’s jobs are paying less, there’s also more unemployment at the lower end of the economic spectrum. The unemployment disparities are most pronounced in the study when looking at race and ethnicity in the state. In 2011, more than 17% of Blacks and nearly 18 percent of Hispanics were unemployed, compared to just over 7% of Whites. And age makes a difference. The unemployment for younger people, the 16 to 24 year olds who are out looking for jobs, is over 18 percent, more than double the state average.

Connecticut Voices for Children is using their latest report to urge lawmakers to strengthen the state’s education system, as well as invest in job training programs and raise the state’s minimum wage.

Read the full report here.

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