America the Gutted: What Cleveland and Napa have in common

Kyle Kim

NEW YORK — To wrap your mind around just how far America's once-great manufacturing cities have fallen, consider this:

The industrial-era stalwart of Cleveland, Ohio now has the same percentage of production workers in its labor force as Napa, California's wine mecca.

And in case you've never passed through Cleveland, the change hasn't come because Ohio suddenly spawned a sunny climate and wine industry.

It's just another example of the jaw-dropping statistics that underpin the loss of working and middle class jobs in America.

In the 1950s, more than half of the American workforce had jobs in fields like construction, transportation, and manufacturing. Now, just one in five have one of these working class jobs.

Maybe more surprising is how few people still actually make things in the big cities we tend to associate with manufacturing. Production jobs account for around nine percent of the workforce in Toledo, Akron, Cleveland, and Napa, notes Richard Florida, senior editor at The Atlantic.

Florida has compiled the data, and made this map, for his book "The Rise of the Creative Class, Revisited."

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