Millions Have Lost a Step Into the Middle Class, Researchers Say

The new figure points to the challenge for the majority of Americans who do not have a four-year college degree.

Over the last two decades, workers without four-year college degrees have lost ground in the occupations that used to be ladders to middle-class lives for them and their families.

While the trend has been well known, putting a number on the lost steppingstone jobs has been elusive. A new study, published on Friday, estimates that such workers have been displaced from 7.4 million jobs since 2000.

The research points to the persistent challenge for the nearly two-thirds of American workers who do not have a four-year college degree, even as some employers have dropped the requirement in recent years.

“These workers have been displaced from millions of the precise jobs that offer them upward mobility,” said Papia Debroy, head of research for Opportunity@Work, the nonprofit that published the study. “It represents a stunning loss

Keep reading this article on The New York Times Business.

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