I was recently watching a documentary about San Francisco. One of the people profiled was a 60-year-old unemployed male, who had been out of work since The Recession.
This gentleman, who once made a very comfortable living in the financial services sector, now lives in a small and broken down single-room apartment, and gets most of his meals from food kitchens.
The documentary highlighted how the surge in upper-income residents to San Francisco, and the wealth the tech industry has brought into the city, is squeezing middle-income residents, prompting many to leave town.
This San Francisco story is consistent with recent data from Pew Research that found from 2000 to 2014, the share of adults living in middle-income households fell in 203 of the 229 U.S. metropolitan areas – a level that could foretell the end of the middle class as the majority in this country.
What’s interesting is like the man from San Francisco, the shrinking middle class is as much a story about increasing fortunes as it is one of economic misfortune.
“The shifting economic fortunes of localities were not an either/or proposition: Some 108 metropolitan areas experienced growth in both the lower- and upper-income tiers,” say …read more