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      Where did Albany's middle class go?

      Jon Howard, commissioner of district 6, says, "really it's based on the economy; a lot of people that had a savings account, it's been depleted because the cost of living has gone up." / Courtney Highfield


      A recent study by 25wallst.com says Albany ranks number 4 on the list of cities with the widest gap between the rich and the poor. One Albany Commissioner told FOX 31 he thinks he knows why.

      Jon Howard, commissioner of district 6, says, "really it's based on the economy; a lot of people that had a savings account, it's been depleted because the cost of living has gone up."

      Howard says the first problem the city has is a low graduation rate; as a result, a lot of residents can't find jobs or aren't qualified for the jobs out there.

      Katherine Hogg with the Department of Labor says "we find that a lot of jobs require some kind of education, at least a high school education, but a lot with associates degrees and higher."

      Howard says "bringing a middle class back to Albany is going to be a difficult task because in order to bring it back you're going to have to create jobs, good paying jobs, above minimum wage jobs to have a robust economy."

      He says it could be ten to twenty years before Albany sees a middle class again.

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