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Poverty and Joblessness Affecting 4 in 5 [POLL/AUDIO]

A new study from The Associated Press finds four out of five people surveyed were jobless, near poverty, or in need of government assistance at some point of their life.The survey data, which was made exclusive only to the Associated Press, finds an increasingly deteriorating economic framework with a wider divide between the rich and poor.

Rutgers economist James Hughes isn’t surprised by the survey’s results, noting globalization over the past several decades has caused companies more sensitive to costs, which is causing them to hold on to every penny.  He said the manufacturing industry has been continuously shrinking as companies are forced to compete with overseas interests. Even white collar jobs in the Information Technology sector have been eliminated as new technology reduces the need for personnel.

He said job security has been one of the biggest victims in the past decade, and not just for low skilled and blue collar industries.

“A decade ago people may have had tremendous job security as a white collar worker, that’s certainly less so than today.  Many people have many different jobs during their lifetime and in between jobs they can be very close to poverty,” said Hughes.

Additionally, Hughes said wages have been stagnant over the past five to ten years, making it difficult to build up a financial cushion in case you lose your job.

“So it’s not surprising that they would have periods of unemployment and then permanent changes in their work lives per say. Maybe moving from a manufacturing job to a Home Depot.”

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