This is not a surprise. The US has been shifting from a manufacturing economy to a service economy for the last few decades. Joke used to be service economy equals 'You want fries with that?', but it's not a joke anymore.
Simple truth is, we are heading towards a two class society. Like it or not, some people are only cut out for manual labor. I've seen it many times, an excellent press operator works hard, gets promoted to a supervisory position and fails miserably. Read 'The Peter Principle' sometime.