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American manufacturing cities are losing white-collar jobs, too

Ford
A Ford manufacturing plant in Louisville, Kentucky. Photo: Bill Pugliano / Getty Images

A third of US. major metro areas — nearly 100 communities — are shedding a greater proportion of white-collar jobs than blue-collar jobs, AP's Josh Boak finds.

Why it matters: That trend means that declining manufacturing centers — many in Trump country — get hit twice. "[T]he flow of white collar jobs out of these cities has pulled money and brainpower out of local economies and left them more vulnerable to economic downturns."

  • Examples: Erie, Pa. ... Toledo and Canton, Ohio ... Sheboygan, Wis. ... Wichita and Topeka, Kan. ... Birmingham, Ala. ... Decatur, Ill.
  • U.S. manufacturing employment peaked nearly 40 years ago, in 1979. Professional class jobs have "increasingly become the backbone of the U.S. economy."
  • "Children who left for college aren’t returning home as they once did."
  • The takeaway: "Without a foundation of white collar jobs, it becomes difficult for these areas to reinvent themselves in an era when the economy more and more requires specialized knowledge and technological skill."
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