Best of the Week
Most Popular
1.Stocks Bear Market Apocalypse Imminent Crash Gets Nuked Again - Nadeem_Walayat
2.Gold And Silver – A Reality Check - Michael_Noonan
3.The Killer Ape, Human Evolution, Artificial Intelligence and Extinction End Game - Nadeem_Walayat
4.Stock Market S&P 500 Volatility-Based Price Probability Range - Richard_Shaw
5.A Stocks Bear Market Is Now More Likely Than Not - Richard_Shaw
6.Money Supply and the Fed’s Serious Inflation Risks - Zeal_LLC
7.More Selling for Stock Market, Gold? - Brad_Gudgeon
8.Gold, Silver Precious Metals: a Critical Week Ahead - Rambus_Chartology
9.Gold Price Change in Character - Gary_Savage
10.Advice for Biotech Investors: 'Hold Your Powder' 'til Winter - TLSReport
Last 5 days
Top 3 Technical Tools Part 3: MACD - Video Lesson - 13th Oct 15
An Introduction to Technofeudalism Ascending - 13th Oct 15
Stock Market S&P 500: Is it This Simple? - 12th Oct 15
Chanos: I'm a Potential Purchases or Glencore Stock - 12th Oct 15
IMF Fears $3 Trillion Credit Crunch; Lagarde Warns 'IMF Credibility at Stake' - 12th Oct 15
Structural Reasons For A Long-Term Financial Markets Decline - 12th Oct 15
New Hedge Fund Buying Enters Crude Oil Market - 12th Oct 15
Stock Market / GDX New Lows Coming: Panic Ahead? - 12th Oct 15
Stock Market Gains, but the “Super Crash” Is Accelerating - 11th Oct 15
October Stocks Bear Market and Crash Killer - 11th Oct 15
A Bifurcated U.S. Housing Market, How Much Longer Can Unaffordable Housing Prices Last? - 10th Oct 15
Stock Market Primary V to New Highs Underway - 10th Oct 15
Putin’s “Endgame” in Syria - 10th Oct 15
Gold And Silver Trapped In A Low-End Trading Range - 10th Oct 15
Free Traders Educational Week - 10th Oct 15
Stock Market Rally May be Broken - 9th Oct 15
Gold Stocks Major Breakout - 9th Oct 15
Contrarian Investing - Being the 10th Man - 9th Oct 15
U.S. Can Expect Recession in 1-3 Years - 9th Oct 15
The Greater Economic Depression Deep State - 9th Oct 15
Financial Markets Calm Before the Storm? - 9th Oct 15
Stock Market History Calling, Says Performance will be Crappy for Another ~10 years! - 9th Oct 15
Why This Feels Like an Economic Depression for Most People - 9th Oct 15
Dr Copper Back from the Dead - Time to Buy or Blink - 8th Oct 15
Glencore Rout Blamed on Short Sellers Playing With CDS - 8th Oct 15
The Real Reason for the Refugee Crisis You Won’t Hear About in the Media - 8th Oct 15
US Stocks: The [Trend]Line Between Bull and Bear Market - 8th Oct 15
Bundesbank “Reassures” Re. Gold Bullion Reserves as Deutsche Bank Shocks With €6 Billion Loss Warning - 8th Oct 15
How Our Aversion To Change Leads Us Into Danger - 8th Oct 15
Moving Stem Cell Research Forward: Bernie Siegel of the Genetics Policy Institute - 8th Oct 15
Stock Market VERY IMPORTANT Turn Date - 7th Oct 15
The 5th Convergence…An Economic & Financial Superstorm That Will Devastate America - 7th Oct 15
Summers Grades Janet Yellen's Fed Performance 'Incomplete' - 7th Oct 15
Gold Versus Central Banks Paper Ponzi - 7th Oct 15
QE3 is Over Get Ready for QE4 - 7th Oct 15
How to Profit from Government Mandates in Biofuels - 7th Oct 15
A Key Oil Price Trend That Everyone Is Missing - 6th Oct 15
Stock Market Turn Appears to Have Been Made - 6th Oct 15
Designing a Dividend Growth Portfolio for a Specific Retirement Yield Objective - 6th Oct 15
Peter Schiff Predicts Gold Price Breakout - Video - 6th Oct 15
Theresa May Declares War on Immigration - Conference Speech Full Transcript - 6th Oct 15
Is Russia Plotting To Bring Down OPEC? - 6th Oct 15
Target Date Funds As Aid In Retirement Investment Portfolio Design - 6th Oct 15
Stocks Bear Market Apocalypse Imminent Crash Gets Nuked Again - 6th Oct 15

Free Instant Analysis

Free Instant Technical Analysis

Market Oracle FREE Newsletter

America's Suffering Middle Class, Still Worse Off than 2008

Politics / Social Issues Feb 13, 2013 - 02:37 PM GMT

By: Money_Morning


David Zeiler writes: The government's numbers - primarily the monthly data on unemployment and inflation - tell the story of a slow but gradual recovery by the U.S. economy.

But the experience of millions of Americans tells a far different story.

According to a new national survey conducted by the John J. Heldrich Center for Workforce Development at Rutgers University, many Americans continue to suffer from the impact of the Great Recession.

What's more, more than half of those surveyed believe the U.S. economy will not fully recover for another six years, and nearly one-third said the U.S. economy will never fully recover.

"Millions of households were affected to some extent by the layoffs that occurred four years ago," Mark Szeltner, the lead researcher for the Rutgers survey, told The Daily Ticker.

The Rutgers survey backs up what some other surveys have said.

Last August, in a Pew Research survey of middle-class Americans, 42% said they were worse off than they were in 2008.

A Rasmussen survey taken earlier this month showed that only 39% believed the U.S. economy would be stronger in five years - the first time, Rasmussen said, that figure had ever dipped below 40%.

U.S. Economy 2013: Rhetoric and Realities
The survey results contradict the sunny rhetoric from the party in power in Washington.

For the past couple of years, Democratic lawmakers and U.S. President Barack Obama have pointed to a slowly dropping unemployment rate and gradually improving housing data as evidence the U.S. economy was on the mend, if not back to its pre-2008 form.

"Our economy right now is headed in the right direction and it will stay that way as long as there aren't any more self-inflicted wounds coming out of Washington," President Obama told reporters last week as he urged Congress to act to avoid the economically damaging budget cuts set to hit March 1.

And just going by the government data, the U.S. economy is better off than it was in 2009.

Unemployment is at 7.9%, down from its peak of 10%. The gross domestic product (GDP) grew 2.1% in 2012, while it shrank 3.5% in 2009.

Unfortunately, the improving government data hasn't done much to help many middle-class Americans recover from the worst setback to the U.S. economy since the Great Depression.

The Rutgers survey of nearly 1,100 Americans showed just how deeply felt the Great Recession has been.

Nearly a quarter, 23%, said they lost their job as a result of the recession. Nearly three in four - 73% -- said they had either lost a job themselves, had a family member lose a job or had a close friend lose a job.

While most of those who were laid off said they had found new jobs, only a minority found jobs comparable to the ones they lost.

More than half (54%) said their new job paid less than their old one, and in many cases the pay cuts were steep. More than a quarter (26%) of those who took pay cuts lost between 31% and 50% and 18% lost between 21% and 30% of their former salaries.

"[That] can be a huge hit for middle-class Americans," Szeltner said.

Equally demoralizing is that many of the "recovery jobs" carried a lower status. Almost half (48%) said their new job was a "step down" for them.

And people are pessimistic about any real improvement to the unemployment picture, mirroring how they feel about the U.S. economy in general.

An astonishing 90% said they were either "somewhat concerned" or "very concerned" about the job market for those now looking for work, and 85% said were somewhat concerned or very concerned about their own job security.

And the survey showed many feel this is the new normal; 60% said the changes to the U.S. economy are permanent.

Large numbers said they believed many things are gone for good: workers feeling secure in their jobs (43%); the availability of good jobs at good pay for those who want to work (34%); and a lower unemployment rate (29%).

Great Recession Impact on U.S. Families
The survey also revealed some of the hardships suffered by U.S. families in the wake of the Great Recession.

More than one-third (35%) said the recession has had a "major" impact on their family; only 14% said it has had no impact.

Some of the ways diminished economic circumstances have affected Americans, especially those who lost their jobs, include:

■66% dipped into savings set aside for other things;
■57% cut back on doctor's visits or medical treatment;
■40% borrowed money from friends or family;
■37% increased credit card debt.

Most of those who were laid off - 61% - believe their finances will never recover.

"I think the data speaks to the scope, the magnitude and the persistence of the recession," Szeltner said. "It's a really depressing image of what's happening right now to many Americans."

How about you? Do you think the official U.S. government statistics are masking serious issues with the U.S. economy? Tell us what you think in the comments section below.

Source :

Money Morning/The Money Map Report

©2013 Monument Street Publishing. All Rights Reserved. Protected by copyright laws of the United States and international treaties. Any reproduction, copying, or redistribution (electronic or otherwise, including on the world wide web), of content from this website, in whole or in part, is strictly prohibited without the express written permission of Monument Street Publishing. 105 West Monument Street, Baltimore MD 21201, Email:

Disclaimer: Nothing published by Money Morning should be considered personalized investment advice. Although our employees may answer your general customer service questions, they are not licensed under securities laws to address your particular investment situation. No communication by our employees to you should be deemed as personalized investent advice. We expressly forbid our writers from having a financial interest in any security recommended to our readers. All of our employees and agents must wait 24 hours after on-line publication, or after the mailing of printed-only publication prior to following an initial recommendation. Any investments recommended by Money Morning should be made only after consulting with your investment advisor and only after reviewing the prospectus or financial statements of the company.

Money Morning Archive

© 2005-2015 - The Market Oracle is a FREE Daily Financial Markets Analysis & Forecasting online publication.

Post Comment

Only logged in users are allowed to post comments. Register/ Log in

Biggest Debt Bomb in History