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The U.S. economy earlier this year recovered all the jobs lost during the recession, but those new jobs pay an average of 23 percent less than the ones lost in the downturn, according to an analysis released recently by the U.S. Conference of Mayors.

Job losses in the higher-paying manufacturing and construction sectors were largely replaced by jobs in lower-wage industries, including hospitality and healthcare, the report said.

It also found a continuing accumulation of wealth among the top 20 percent of the nation’s earners.

From 2005 to 2012, the highest income bracket was responsible for more than 60 percent of all income gains in the country, the report said.

By contrast, the bottom 40 percent of earners saw only 6.6 percent of the increases.

“Our economic models project a further drift toward inequality in upcoming years,” said the report, prepared for the mayors group by IHS Global Insight. “Thus it is reasonable to conclude that the ongoing increase in income inequality is a structural feature of the 21st century economy.”

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