Why the Gap Between Rich & Poor Is Widening

An Inside Look at Why the Rich Get Richer & the Poor Stay Put

Technology -- The Double-Edged Sword

Just as technology has worked its way into our daily work lives, it has also had a significant big-picture effect on employment, according to a March 2012 report from the nonpartisan Congressional Research Service

On the bottom end of the income scale, technology now performs some of the functions that once went to low-skill workers. Furthermore, technological changes -- like improved computer and telecommunications systems -- have enabled more U.S. companies to send jobs to countries with lower labor costs. With more workers competing for fewer jobs, wages for low-skill occupations dropped.

At the same time, technology has been a boon for some higher earners. In fields such as engineering and law, technology "serves as a complement to high-skilled workers, which has raised demand for and the relative wages of these workers," the report concludes.