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The 4 Cities Creating the Most Middle-Income Jobs (Are All in Texas)

A third of Americans consider themselves lower class, according to Pew research, compared with a quarter before the recession. The reason? The decline of mid-skilled, mid-wage jobs.

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(Photo Credit: stuseegar/Flickr)

In a recent Forbes article, contributor Joel Kotkin examined the phenomenon of disappearing middle-wage jobs. (Kotkin uses "middle-income" and "mid-skilled" jobs interchangeably, because, he says, "research suggests pay is a reasonable proxy for skill.")

"Mid-skilled jobs in areas such as manufacturing, construction, and office administration -- a category that pays between $14 and $21 an hour -- can provide a decent standard of living, particularly if one has a spouse who also works, and even more so if a family lives in a relatively low-cost area," writes Kotkin. "But mid-skilled employment is in secular decline, falling from 25 percent of the workforce in 1985 to barely 15 percent today. This is one reason why middle- and working-class incomes remain stagnant, well below pre-recession levels."

Some cities, however, are bucking this trend. Forbes lists eight metro areas, in states like Oklahoma, Louisiana, and Tennessee, that are creating middle-income jobs at a higher rate than they did pre-recession. The clear winner in this list is Texas, which boasts the top four middle-income-job creating cities:

1. Austin-Round Rock-San Marcos, TX

Change From 2007: +7.6 percent

Employers Include: Dell, Inc.; International Business Machines (IBM) Corp.; Freescale Semiconductor, Inc.

2. Houston-Sugar Land-Baytown, TX

Change From 2007: +7.4 percent

Employers Include: Schlumberger; Shell Oil Company; National Oilwell Varco

3. San Antonio-New Braunfels, TX

Change From 2007: +3.4 percent

Employers Include: Usaa Insurance; U.S. Air Force (USAF); Rackspace, US Inc.

4. Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington, TX

Change From 2007: +3.1 percent

Employers Include: Texas Instruments, Inc.; University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas; J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. (JPMCC)

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