President Barack Obama campaigned on promises of hope and change back in 2008 and to some extent, he delivered. It just might not have been the change people wanted to see.
A study released Monday by the United States Conference of Mayors shows that wages in the U.S. have dropped 23 percent since Obama’s election in 2008.
The report looked at the wages of jobs lost during the 2008 recession and compared them to wages paid in the same sectors today. It found that the jobs lost paid on average $61,637 annually, but were replaced by positions earning only $41, 171 annually.
According to the study, this wage gap represents about $93 billion in lost wages.
“Under a similar analysis conducted by the Conference of Mayors during the 2001-2002 recession, the wage gap was only 12 percent compared to the current 23 percent –meaning the wage gap has nearly doubled from one recession to the next,” the report said.
Additionally, the report found that both average and median household income fell between 2005 and 2012.
This shift hit lower-income residents disproportionately hard. The survey showed that 73 percent of metro areas with populations over 30,000 had more households earning less than $35,000 per year than households earning above $75,000.
The mayors in the conference pledged their commitment to reducing income inequality and created a task force to help combat the problem.
“While the economy is picking up steam, income inequality and wage gaps are an alarming trend that must be addressed,” said conference president and Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson in a news release.
“This Task Force, led by New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, will recommend both national and local policies that will help to give everyone opportunity. We cannot put our heads in the sand on these issues. The nation’s mayors have an obligation to do what we can to address issues of inequality in this country while Washington languishes in dysfunction.”