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Report Reveals Big Wage Gap In Virginia

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A decline in middle-income jobs has led to a big wage disparity between Virginia's top and lowest earners.
Elyce Feliz: http://www.flickr.com/photos/elycefeliz/4410603929/
A decline in middle-income jobs has led to a big wage disparity between Virginia's top and lowest earners.

There is striking wage gap between Virginia's top and lowest earners, according to a report released by the Commonwealth Institute for Fiscal Analysis.

The Institute's Michael Cassidy says several factors lead to the disparity, including job sectors. Areas such as accommodations, tourism, and food service still pay much less than others that do not require a college degree.

"We've also seen a real decimation of the middle-income jobs in our economy," he says. "Sectors like construction and manufacturing have seen among the highest employment losses since the recession."

But Cassidy says while those with at least bachelor's degrees often see higher wage gains than those without, it's not the only factor. He says policymakers must find ways to promote workforce training in sectors that are growing, such as healthcare. He says state officials must also discover ways to boost demand for products and services that businesses provide -- to make hiring and higher wages possible.

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