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Report Finds Stagnant Wages For Most New Bedford Workers

TSM - Joseph Aboud still hiring in North End!
TSM – Joseph Aboud still hiring in North End!

Have you felt like your paycheck isn’t going up?

Well a study released earlier this month says you’re not the only one.

The study by the Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center entitled “Income Growth and Gateway Cities:What Happened, and Is There a Path Back to Broadly Shared Prosperity?” found that wages for low-income workers has remained mostly static despite economic growth.

The group’s President Noah Berger told WBSM News that makes it very difficult for communities looking to improve their local economies.

“If this trend continues, of wages not growing when the economy grows, it’s an enormous headwind for cities like New Bedford and Fall River,” said Berger “there are things that an individual city can do but you’re battling against national trends it’s very difficult.”

Berger says the Southcoast is far from being the only region where this trend is occuring.

“These are not issues unique to any particular city, these are issues we’ve seen across the country,” said Berger “even where our economy’s doing well and our economy’s growing, wages of alot of working people have remained stagnant and that’s a serious problem.”

While it does present a very serious problem, Berger says some steps can be taken to address this issue.

“Among the things cities can do is invest in its people, to make sure that we have high quality education,” said Berger “in Massachusetts that would require support from the state to be able to afford high quality education for 3 and 4-year-olds, great education for our K-12 students, and, importantly to make public higher education more affordable.”

The report found that if wages for New Bedford workers had grown at the same rate as the overall economy the average income in the city would be near $60,000 instead of the current average income of below $40,000.

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