Over the past few months, Starbucks, CVS, and Walmart announced higher wages and a range of other benefits like paid parental leave and stock options. Despite what the brands say in their press releases, the changes probably had little to do with the Republican corporate tax cuts, but they do reflect a broader economic prosperity, complete with a tightening a labor market. In the past couple of years, real wages hit their highest levels ever, and even the lowest-paid workers started getting raises. As Matt Yglesias wrote at Vox, “for the first time in a long time, the underlying labor market is really healthy.”
Futurist Thomas Frey: How quickly we forget. Events of 20 years ago seem like a distant memory, but 1994 was the year when Nelson Mandela was elected President of South Africa, O.J. Simpson was arrested for killing his wife, huge massacres were happening in Rwanda and Sarajevo, and China got its first connection to the Internet.
Robot arms weld a vehicle on the assembly line at a General Motors plant.
Since the Great Recession ended four years ago, American workers’ productivity has risen. But, in the U.S. there are two million fewer jobs than before the downturn. The unemployment rate is stuck at levels not seen since the early 1990s and the proportion of adults who are working is four percentage points off its peak in 2000.
Janis Adkins lives in her van in Santa Barbara.
Median household income is in the middle of its worst 12-year period since the Great Depression. New York Times and David Leonhardt have launched a feature to investigate the hardest question: Why?
To maintain living standards into old age we need roughly 20 times our annual income in financial wealth.
In 2010, 75 percent of Americans nearing retirement age had less than $30,000 in their retirement accounts. Downward mobility in retirement is a looming reality for both middle and higher-income workers. Forty-nine percent of middle-class workers will be poor or near poor in retirement, living on a food budget of about $5 a day.
Teens with jobs is a rarity in the U.S.
Two major accomplishments will be celebrated by Nick Gentry this month. He is graduating from high school and he has landed his first job after a very long job search. Collecting a paycheck makes Gentry, 18, a rarity in today’s working world.
Customers look at laptops at a Wal-Mart store in Mexico City.
The middle class is fast becoming the majority in Mexico, breaking down the rich-poor divide in a profound demographic transformation that has far-reaching implications here and in the United States.
U.S. income, while solid among its peers around the world, still leaves many grappling to make ends meet.
An “average” American earns close to $40,000 a year. That’s pretty good money compared with the rest of the world.
Why do American children depend on their parents to do things for them that they are capable of doing for themselves?
Elinor Ochs, an anthropologist at the University of California, Los Angeles and her colleagues, have studied family life as far away as Samoa and the Peruvian Amazon region, but for the last decade they have focused on a society closer to home: the American middle class.
It only takes $34,000 per person to be amid the richest 1% of people in the world.
There is a disproportionate amount of the world’s rich people living in the United States.
“The reality is that prospects for the poor and the near poor are dismal.”
A record number of Americans are being squeezed by rising living costs. Nearly 1 in 2 have fallen into poverty or are scraping by on earnings that classify them as low income.
Researchers say the new study throws into doubt previous claims that fast food restaurants were the primary cause of obesity.
Middle class families in the U.S. eat more fast food than less-healthy poor ones, according to a new study from the University of California, Davis.