If you’re a White Man, or woman, lacking a shiny college-granted piece of paper and/or an in-demand skill (like welding), you may be currently struggling.
Because it’s obvious at this point that wages are nowhere near where they should be, benefits through an employer are nearly impossible to afford, and the cost of living continues to skyrocket in many places.
And even if you find yourself working for a company that mandates decent pay for entry-level workers, expect a battle to keep weekly hours above the absolute minimum for full-time employees.
At a time of rock-bottom joblessness, high corporate profits and a booming stock market, more than 40% of U.S. households cannot pay the basics of a middle-class lifestyle — rent, transportation, child care and a cellphone, according to a new study.
Quick take: The study, conducted by United Way, found a wide band of working U.S. households that live above the official poverty line, but below the cost of paying ordinary expenses. Based on 2016 data, there were 34.7 million households in that group — double the 16.1 million that are in actual poverty, project director Stephanie Hoopes tells Axios.
Why it matters: For two years, U.S. politics has been dominated by the anger and resentment of a self-identified “forgotten” class, some left behind economically and others threatened by changes to their way of life.
The United Way study, to be released publicly Thursday, suggests that the economically forgotten are a far bigger group than many studies assume — and, according to Hoopes, appear to be growing larger despite the improving economy.
The study dubs that middle group between poverty and the middle class “ALICE” families, for Asset-limited, Income-constrained, Employed. (The map above, by Axios’ Chris Canipe, depicts that state-by-state population in dark brown.)
These are households with adults who are working but earning too little — 66% of Americans earn less than $20 an hour, or about $40,000 a year if they are working full time.
And yet we’re being told by the God Emperor that conditions are so great that we need to devote resources to the cause of encouraging “skills-based immigration” – please note that this does not mean we’ll get Bjorn the Icelandic computer genius, but will instead get plenty of Pajeets fresh from the slums of Mumbai.
You know, it’s almost like we’re being deceived about the real nature of things…