Bob Soutier

This is a follow-up to Monday's "St. Louis on the Air" show about the middle class. Hear the audio from that show and read Kyle Jacoby's story to find out what the experts said about the middle class, the economy and the American Dream.

You've heard it before: The rich get richer while the poor get poorer. But what about those in the middle?

Flickr/Rob Lee

The rich are getting richer. The top 5 percent of earners in the U.S. accounted for nearly 40 percent of personal consumption expenditures in 2012, according to the Institute for New Economic Thinking. That is up from 28 percent in 1995. 

The 777X commercial aircraft manufacturing plant will benefit from state tax incentives.
Bill Greenblatt | UPI

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon. - Bob Soutier, president of the Greater St. Louis Labor Council, says that there’s no split in local labor ranks when it comes to backing the effort in the Missouri Capitol to craft an incentive package to persuade Boeing to move production of its new commercial airliner, the 777x, to this state.

Soutier emphasizes that includes the Machinists union officials representing some Boeing workers at the military-production plant by Lambert-St. Louis International Airport.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: Representatives of three of the St. Louis region’s top labor organizations told St. Louis County Executive Charlie Dooley this afternoon that they won’t endorse his re-election next year.

“We don’t see Charlie as the ally that we saw him once before,” said Jeff Aboussie, secretary-treasurer of the St. Louis Building and Construction Trades Council.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: Bob Soutier, president of the Greater St. Louis Labor Council, says that St. Louis County Executive Charlie Dooley has run afoul of labor because he has appointed Republican Dave Spence to the county’s police board.

Marshall Griffin | St. Louis Public Radio

The percentage of Missouri workers who are members of a union dropped to less than 9 percent in 2012, following two years of slight gains.

The federal Bureau of Labor Statistics released its report on Monday. It showed that 51,000 fewer Missouri workers were in a union in 2012 than 2011. The state was part of a larger national trend, but that 2 percent drop was among the largest.