When I opened up the CNNMoney.com homepage today, I saw a video that I knew I had to click. With a title like “Why it sucks to be middle class,” how could I not click?
In the video, Tom Foreman examines job growth before, during and after the recession. Before the recession started, the bulk of the job growth was in industries with higher pay, above $70,000 per year. The second largest growth group in the pre-recession era was low-wage jobs with mid-wage jobs experiencing the smallest amount of growth.
However, once the recession hit, the mid-wage group was hit the hardest. A disproportionate number of the nearly 7 million jobs lost during the recession were in the mid-wage group, despite this being the slowest growing group in the pre-recession era.
Although the recession is technically over, job growth in the mid-wage sector is nominal. Unfortunately, job growth is strongest among lower-wage industries. These jobs don’t help the American economic recovery efforts nor do they do a good job of helping American families get ahead.
Next time I hear someone discuss the “disappearing middle class,” I will have to remember the images used in this video.