July 12, 2016
The lingering effects of the recession, flatter compensation in labor contracts and two-tier autoworker wage structures have led to a decline in middle- and upper-income households, according to Jonathan Silberman, professor of economics at Oakland University in Rochester Hills, MI.
Plugging in data from a Pew Research Center report, Silberman made a correlation between manufacturing sector declines and the decline of middle- and upper-income households.
Metro Detroit experienced a 6.9% increase to 28.1% of all households in lower-income homes from 2000-2014, while middle-income households shrank by 3.7% to 51.4%. Upper-income households fell by 3.2% to 20.5%.
Silberman pointed out that, during the same time period, the average manufacturing production worker’s hourly wage fell from $31.57 in 2004 to $22.02 in 2014. The number of manufacturing employees fell by about 50,000 in the metro.