Jeff Smith 8 p.m., Aug. 30
SD middle class vanishing
Middle-wage jobs in San Diego depart, and wages drop, more rapidly than in state or nation.
"The rich get richer, the poor get poorer (or stay relatively the same), and the middle is disappearing," is how economist Kelly Cunningham of the National University System Institute for Policy Research synthesizes his new study of the San Diego occupational landscape. Looking at data from the 2007-2011 period, the number of high-wage jobs requiring specific training and skills, actually increased during the period, greatly because of technology gains. Middle-income jobs declined, as did total their total compensation; low-wage jobs also shrank while wages were about flat.
Middle-wage job and income losses were deeper in San Diego than in California and the nation. Between 2007 and 2011, middle-wage occupations in San Diego dropped by 15.2%, versus 13.2% in California and 8.3% in the nation. Inflation-adjusted middle-wage earnings dropped 16.8% in San Diego, 12.3% in California and 7.7% in the nation. The conclusion is clear: the middle class is disappearing more rapidly in San Diego County than elsewhere.