April 20, 2007 – Sluggish job growth, stagnant wages, declining benefits and other economic trends continue to batter many middle class families.
A recent Economic Snapshot by Christian Weller from the Center for American Progress points out a number of reasons why there is reason for working families to be worried about the current state of the economy. Highlights include:
• Wage growth is low. When factoring for inflation, hourly wages were only 2.7 percent higher and weekly wages only 2.2 percent higher in March 2007 than in March 2001.
• Job growth is the weakest for any business cycle. Job growth has averaged only 1.5 percent since the 2003 tax cut – the lowest growth of any recovery at the same length.
• Family debt is on the rise. Household debt rose to an unprecedented 132.4 percent of disposable income by December 2006.
• Benefits disappear. In 2005, the last year data was available, the share of people with employer-provided health insurance dropped from 63.6 percent to 59.5 percent.
Read Christian Weller’s entire Economic Snapshot by visiting the Center for American Progress.