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The Middle-Class Has Disappeared Under The Clinton-Obama Economy

- December 18, 2015

The U.S. Middle-Class "Has Shrunk To The Point Where It No Longer Constitutes The Majority Of The Adult Population." "The nation's middle class, long a pillar of the U.S. economy and foundation of the American dream, has shrunk to the point where it no longer constitutes the majority of the adult population, according to a new major study." (Don Lee, "Middle-Class Families, Pillar Of The American Dream, Are No Longer In The Majority, Study Finds," Los Angeles Times, 12/9/15)

Middle-Class Jobs, That "Provided A Stable Living For Those With Less Education," Have "Been Replaced With Low-Wage Work." "But middle-skilled jobs, which once provided a stable living for those with less education, have been replaced with low-wage work. Occupations at the growing bottom earn less than $32,000 on average. Only one-third have health insurance and only one-quarter have retirement benefits." (Josh Zumbrun, "Post Recession Job Growth Coming In High-Wage Positions," The Wall Street Journal, 8/17/15)

  • "The Wallets Of America's Middle Class And Poorest Aren't Seeing Any Extra Money. " "The wallets of America's middle class and poorest aren't seeing any extra money, the U.S. Census reported Wednesday, a financial stagnation experts say may be fueling political dissent this campaign season." (Jesse J Holland, "Census: Income, Poverty Numbers Stay Just About The Same," ABC News, 9/16/15)

Without Stronger Economic Growth, The "Middle Class Could Shrink And Poor Would Be Even Worse Off." "What's at stake is the very future of America. Without faster growth the U.S. can't create enough jobs for those who want to them, and Americans will have to get used to much smaller increases in their paychecks. The middle class could shrink and poor would be even worse off." (Jeffry Bartash, "Go-Go Economy Becomes So-So Economy: U.S. Faces Dimmer Future Absent Big Fixes," MarketWatch, 8/4/15)

The Number Of Americans That Identify Themselves As Middle-Class Continues To Shrink

A Gallup Survey Found That Only 51 Percent Of U.S. Adults Identify As Middle-Class, Down From 63 Percent Of Those Polled In 2008. "A Gallup survey this spring showed that just 51% of U.S. adults considered themselves middle or upper middle class, with 48% saying they are part of the lower or working class. As recently as 2008, 63% of those polled by Gallup said they were middle class." (Don Lee, "Middle-Class Families, Pillar Of The American Dream, Are No Longer In The Majority, Study Finds," Los Angeles Times, 12/9/15)

The "Slow Recovery" Of The Clinton-Obama Economy Has "Shaken" The Image That Americans Have Of Identifying As Middle-Class. "Most Americans have traditionally identified themselves as middle class, even those at the top and bottom, reflecting a kind of cultural heritage tied to the American dream of self-reliance. But the Great Recession and subsequent slow recovery have shaken that image." (Don Lee, "Middle-Class Families, Pillar Of The American Dream, Are No Longer In The Majority, Study Finds," Los Angeles Times, 12/9/15)

As Underemployed Americans Are Forced To Dedicated More Of Their Incomes To Rent, Middle-Class Home Ownership Is Increasingly Out Of Reach

As U.S. Renters Dedicate More Of Their Incomes To Rent, The Housing Sector Is "Struggling To Produce Profitable Housing That Is Affordable To Lower- And Moderate-Income Families." "The situation could have significant policy implications. Renters who are severely cost-burdened-meaning they pay more than 50% of their incomes in rent-often require federal subsidies to find an affordable place to live. The private sector is struggling to produce profitable housing that is affordable to lower- and moderate-income families, while many federal housing subsidies have been cut in recent years." (Laura Kusisto, "Renters Will Continue To Struggle For The Next Decade, Harvard Study Sayas," The Wall Street Journal , 9/21/15)

  • The U.S. Homeownership Rate Recently Hit A 48-Year Low Dropping To 63.4 Percent. "The homeownership rate hit a 48-year low, according to estimates published Tuesday by the Commerce Department, declining to 63.4% in the second quarter from 64.7% in the year-earlier period." (Jeffrey Sparshott, "Rising Rents Outpace Wages In Wide Swaths Of The U.S.," The Wall Street Journal, 7/28/15)

Millennials Are "Expected To Grow And Continue To Rent In Large Numbers To Prior Generations" Since Many "Were Unemployed Or Underemployed During The Early Years Of Their Careers." "Millennials-the population currently in their mid-20s and early 30s-are also expected to grow and continue to rent in larger numbers than prior generations. Many of those young adults entered the job market during and after the recession, meaning many were unemployed or underemployed for crucial early years of their careers, and are more likely to struggle to afford housing, the report says." (Laura Kusisto, "Renters Will Continue To Struggle For The Next Decade, Harvard Study Sayas," The Wall Street Journal , 9/21/15)


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