Portland’s middle class is shrinking

As jobs move overseas, the portion of Portland’s population that is in the middle is shrinking, and the income gap is widening.

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Many jobs in Portland are vanishing for good, as overseas companies take over industries such as transportation equipment manufacturing.

Victor Pierce is just one worker who was laid off when Freightliner became Daimler Trucks North America, and many jobs moved to Mexico.

Among Multnomah County residents – 80 percent of whom live in Portland – there’s been a steady erosion in the share of income earned by one-fifth of residents in the middle of the income ladder, the point where two-fifths earn more and two-fifths earn less.

In 1980, folks in that “middle fifth” collectively earned one-seventh of the total income pie, according to Oregon Department of Revenue data measuring adjusted gross incomes of individuals and families. Their share of the pie shrank in the 1980s, 1990s and 2000s.

Read more at the Portland Tribune.

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