February 14, 2010, 7:37AMThe unemployment crisis is not hitting all parts of the income spectrum equally, according to a report from the Center for Labor Market Studies at Northeastern University. The researchers analyzed which American workers have been most adversely affected by the deep deterioration in labor markets.
Their finding are stunning. If you used to make more than $30,000 but less than $70,000, you're in the Great Recession. If you made less than $30,000, consider yourself to be in a Great Depression. If you made more than $70,000, well, there really was no labor market recession for you.
"Results show overwhelmingly that low income workers were far more adversely affected. There are few job losses at top," said researcher Andrew Sum. ""Four-year college graduates, professional workers, many managers, and government employees were well-protected from job losses."
And that is true not just for unemployment, but also for underemployment (people working part-time even though they'd rather be working full). According to the report, workers in the lowest income households faced an underemployment rate of nearly 21 percent. Employed workers in the lowest income were 13 times as likely to be underemployed as workers in the top of the nation's income distribution in the fourth quarter of 2009.