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Massachusetts residents with limited education continue to experience Depression-era levels of unemployment some four years after the last recession. As the economy accelerates toward knowledge-based industries, rewarding the best-educated and wealthiest households, others are getting left further behind, according to a study from Northeastern University’s Center for Labor Market Studies.
The result is a widening gap between rich and poor that threatens to become more entrenched, said Andrew Sum, the center’s director. Class — education and income — increasingly determines not only earnings, but also whether some people have jobs at all.
In Massachusetts, 1 in 5 workers, or 20 percent, from households with annual incomes of less than $20,000 are jobless, compared with just 3.3 percent of workers from households earning more than $150,000 a year.