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Low-wage jobs stunt recovery in Dayton

The Dayton area has regained many of the jobs lost during the Great Recession, but wage growth hasn’t kept pace with hiring. That is contributing to an ever-widening gap between rich and poor, according to a U.S. Conference of Mayors study released Monday.

The U.S. economy has recovered all the jobs lost during the recession, but those new jobs pay an average of 23 percent less than jobs lost in the downturn, according to the report, which was prepared by research firm IHS Global Insight.

An analysis of government data found the average wage of jobs added since the recovery began six years ago through the first half of this year was $47,171. But the average annual wage of jobs lost in the 2008-2009 recession was $61,637.

Wages have been slowest to recover in metro areas, such as Dayton, where high-wage manufacturing and construction jobs have been replaced with jobs in lower-wage sectors such as hospitality and administrative support, the report found.

“Right now we’re seeing the job recovery happen, but those jobs that are coming in don’t pay the amount that Delphi was paying,” said Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley, referring to the former GM auto parts supplier that laid off thousands of local workers at the height of the recession.

On Monday, Whaley joined New York Mayor Bill de Blasio and more than 30 other mayors from around the country in New York to discuss policies and initiatives to narrow the gap between the wealthiest Americans and middle- and low-income households.

The study measured the gap by calculating the ratio of households with median annual incomes of less than $35,000 to those earning more than $75,000. A ratio above 1 indicates a larger share or poorer households.

Dayton had a ratio of 1.42.

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