Q&A: Why cities aren’t working for the working class”

MIT News; February 25, 2019

MIT econ­o­mist David Autor made news in January, when he deliv­ered the pres­ti­gious Richard T. Ely Lecture at the annu­al meet­ing of the American Economic Association and pre­sent­ed an atten­tion-grab­bing find­ing about the U.S. econ­o­my. Cities no longer pro­vide an abun­dance of mid­dle-skill jobs for work­ers with­out col­lege degrees, he announced, based on his own care­ful analy­sis of decades of fed­er­al jobs data, which he scru­ti­nized by occu­pa­tion, loca­tion, and more. MIT News talked to Autor, the Ford Professor of Economics at MIT, about how this sea change is respon­si­ble for much of the “hol­low­ing out” of the mid­dle-class work force, and over­all inequal­i­ty, in the U.S.