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Obama: Workers Have Been ‘Squeezed,’ Harder For People To Get Out Of Poverty, Or Start Careers


President Obama stated that while “Anyone claiming that America’s economy is in decline is peddling fiction” workers have been “squeezed” and it’s “harder for a hard-working family to pull itself out of poverty, harder for young people to start on their careers” during Tuesday’s State of the Union.

Obama began by stating, “Let me start with the economy, and a basic fact, the United States of America, right now, has the strongest, most durable economy in the world. We’re in the middle of the longest streak of private-sector job creation in history, more than 14 million new jobs, the strongest two years of job growth since the 1990s, an unemployment rate cut in half. Our auto industry just had its best year ever. That’s just part of a manufacturing surge that’s created nearly 900,000 new jobs in the past six years. And we’ve done all this while cutting our deficits by almost three-quarters. Anyone claiming that America’s economy is in decline is peddling fiction.”

He added, “What is true ,  and the reason that a lot of Americans feel anxious ,  is that the economy has been changing in profound ways, changes that started long before the Great Recession hit, changes that have not haven’t let up. Today, technology doesn’t just replace jobs on the assembly line, but any job where work can be automated. Companies in a global economy can locate anywhere, and they face tougher competition. As a result, workers have less leverage for a raise. Companies have less loyalty to their communities. And more and more wealth and income is concentrated at the very top. All these trends have squeezed workers, even when they have jobs, even when the economy is growing. It’s made it harder for a hard-working family to pull itself out of poverty, harder for young people to start on their careers, and tougher for workers to retire when they want to. And although none of these trends are unique to America, they do offend our uniquely American belief that everybody who works hard should get a fair shot.”

Follow Ian Hanchett on Twitter @IanHanchett

 

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