AP launching series on the Great Recession

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The Associated Press will launch a series exploring changes wrought by the Great Recession with reports documenting the downturn’s profound impact on jobs that support a broad middle class in the United States, Europe and other developed countries.

The series, “The Great Reset,” will begin with stories appearing from Jan. 23 to Jan. 25. Five additional installments will run about six weeks apart into the fall.

The main reporters on the series are Paul Wiseman out of Washington and Bernard Condon out of New York.

“They came back with a startling story,” said Hal Ritter, the AP business editor, in a phone interview with Talking Biz News. “Most of the jobs lost were middle class jobs. They found that since the recovery began three and a half years ago, no middle class jobs have come back. And this is true in developed countries around the world.”

Technology — specifically powerful software that runs computers and an array of machines and devices — is eliminating the need for many jobs throughout companies and across industries, according to the AP report.

“Bernard and Paul have been working at it full time for three month,” said Ritter. “They started out looking broadly, and then they got narrower and narrower. They have reported it globally. We have pulled in staffers from Europe and Asia. It’s ambitious, but certainly there is no better opportunity in our careers. What bigger event has there been than the financial crisis and The Great Recession?”

“The Great Reset” will include photos, AP interactives and video elements. The series will be available on AP Mobile in the “Big Stories” section. More stories will run later in the year, Ritter said.

In addition, AP’s initial reports on the hollowing out of middle-class jobs will fuel discussion during the annual AP Davos Debate, on Jan. 25 at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. Moderator of the session, titled “Creating Economic Dynamism,” will be AP Senior Managing Editor for U.S. News Mike Oreskes.