The U.S. economy added over 2.1 million jobs in 2013, but many of those new jobs were in low-paying industries like administrative support and leisure and hospitality. With the growing gap between the richest and the poorest Americans, many fear that the middle class itself is dying out.
"The shadow of crisis has passed," said President Obama, in last night's State of the Union address. "And the state of the union is strong." While receiving standing ovations for job numbers (and getting in an ad-libbed dig at Republicans about winning the presidency), Obama outlined a vision for the country that focused on middle-class growth.
The American workforce spent the better part of the 20th century making a major shift. At the beginning, 50 percent of the workforce worked in agriculture. Now, the same jobs only account for 10 percent of the workforce. A similar shift is happening with jobs in industries like manufacturing and information processing.