Addressing the Opportunity Gap

Increasing Economic Mobility: An Update

Feb 25 2014

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In the wake of the Great Recession, many Americans don’t feel economically mobile as they face rising healthcare expenses, high energy prices, swelling college education costs and slow wage growth. A recent Gallup survey confirmed that income inequality is not ranked high on the minds of Americans- dissatisfaction with the federal government, the state of the economy, joblessness and growing healthcare costs are. Relative economic mobility remains the key driver of individual prosperity, and economic growth ensures that everyone is better off in absolute terms over time.

The “Growth Gap” yawns ever wider, with employment recovering all too slowly, and too many remain unemployed for too long. Research has shown that long-term unemployment can have a profound negative effect on lifetime earnings.

Over the last quarter century the rapidly expanding capabilities and falling costs of computers and computer driven machinery boosted the earnings of highly education, highly skilled workers performing creative , cognitive labor, while squeezing the earnings of less education, less skilled workers performing repetitive manual labor. This trend known as skill-biased technological change has not diminished economic mobility statistically, but may be contributing to public perceptions about income inequality.

 

Read the rest of the Republican Staff Commentary attached in pdf format below:

 

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