Middle class still shrinking

Jeremy Hobson Aug 28, 2007
HTML EMBED:
COPY

Middle class still shrinking

Jeremy Hobson Aug 28, 2007
HTML EMBED:
COPY

TEXT OF STORY

Doug Krizner: Also this morning, the census bureau will report on income, poverty and health insurance coverage. Researchers expect these 2006 figures will show the middle class is continuing to shrink. Jeremy Hobson has a preview.


Jeremy Hobson: Ron Haskins at the Brookings Institution breaks the nation into three income categories: bottom, middle and top.

He says trends from previous census reports show those at the bottom and at the top tend to stay there, and the middle class is getting smaller, as people make more money.

Ron Haskins: Anybody over about $75,000 has done very, very well. In the middle, there has been progress, but at the bottom, there’s been a lot of stagnation.

For some, that means living below the poverty line. But even if you’re doing just fine yourself, these numbers matter, says Doug Besharov at the American Enterprise Institute.

Doug Besharov: Everyone needs to have a good job otherwise we’re supporting them. The welfare of the country depends on all of us doing well.

One area where low income Americans probably aren’t doing well is health care. Ron Haskins says he expects the census figures will show an increase in the number of uninsured.

In Washington, I’m Jeremy Hobson for Marketplace.

We’re here to help you navigate this changed world and economy.

Our mission at Marketplace is to raise the economic intelligence of the country. It’s a tough task, but it’s never been more important.

In the past year, we’ve seen record unemployment, stimulus bills, and reddit users influencing the stock market. Marketplace helps you understand it all, will fact-based, approachable, and unbiased reporting.

Generous support from listeners and readers is what powers our nonprofit news—and your donation today will help provide this essential service. For just $5/month, you can sustain independent journalism that keeps you and thousands of others informed.