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The recession took away high- and middle-wage jobs and has replaced them with low-wage jobs at places like strip malls and fast-food restaurants, according to this story in The New York Times.

That is the conclusion of a report from the National Employment Law Project, a research and advocacy group. The report analyzed employment trends four years into the recovery.


The report shows that total employment has surpassed its pre-recession level. But higher-wage industries such as accounting and legal work lost 3.6 million positions during the recession and have added 2.6 million positions during the recovery. Lower-wage industries lost 2 million jobs and added 3.8 million.


Average household take-home pay has declined through the recession and recovery to $51,017 in 2012 from $55,627 in 2007.


This report comes out as the U.S. Senate takes up a bill to increase the minimum wage to $10.10 an hour, according to this CNNMoney article. President Barack Obama and congressional Democrats plan to push the issue on the campaign trail.


Currently, workers must be paid at least $7.25 an hour, but 21 states plus the District of Columbia already have higher minimum wages. That number will soon grow to 25 states.