The Associated Press reported last week that the employment gap between rich and poor Americans is now at the highest levels it has been since the 1930s Great Depression. According to the AP, unemployment rates for the lowest-income families, those earning less than $20,000, are now at 21 percent.
According to the AP, U.S. households with an income of $150,000 or more per year have an unemployment rate of 3.2 percent. It is being reported that middle-income workers are now being pushed into lower-wage jobs. Many of the workers who were working in those low-income jobs are now either unemployed or work fewer hours.
“This was no ‘equal opportunity’ recession or an ‘equal opportunity’ recovery,” Andrew Sum, director of the Center for Labor Market Studies at Northeastern University told the AP. “One part of America is in depression, while another part is in full employment.”
Last week, President Barack Obama said that lawmakers need to address economic inequality. “The folks in the middle and at the bottom haven’t seen wage or income growth,” Obama said in an interview with ABC News. The AP reported that in 2012, the average length of unemployment was 39.5 weeks, the highest rate since World War II.
Economic experts told the AP that the “crowding out” of the labor market has had a domino effect on all middle class and low-income workers. “Because many mid-skill jobs are being lost to globalization and automation, recent U.S. growth in low-wage jobs has not come fast enough to absorb displaced workers at the bottom,” the AP reported.
The AP reported that nationally, low-wage workers are older and better educated than ever, with many owning college degrees or training. “The people at the bottom are going to be continually squeezed, and I don’t see this ending anytime soon,” Harvard economist Richard Freeman told the AP. “If the economy were growing enough or unions were stronger, it would be possible for the less educated to do better and for the lower income to improve. But in our current world, where we are still adjusting to globalization, that is not very likely to happen.”
This news is disheartening to most Americans. As the middle class dwindles, and more people are pushed into low-income jobs, they often take on debts that are unmanageable. If you are facing this dilemma, you should know that there is always an option in Chapter 7 bankruptcy. A Chapter 7 bankruptcy allows you to discharge debts like credit card bills and medical bills. When you file for bankruptcy, an automatic stay takes effect, and creditors cannot pursue legal action against you or pursue wage garnishment.
If you are struggling with debts, you can contact our Washington DC and Maryland bankruptcy lawyer now for a free consultation.
Law Firm of Kevin D. Judd
Judd’s Judgment: Economists define “underutilized” workers as people who work part-time jobs when full-time work is desired.