For generations, the middle class has played a central role in the American economy – promoting the development of human capital through skilled workers and creating stability within political and economic institutions. However, despite its significance, the middle class has been shrinking steadily since 1971; it is at its lowest point in history. While the middle class shrank, the opposite held true of the lower and upper classes. Now, for the first time, the upper and lower economic tiers combined are now equal in size to the middle class.
A growing upper class without a continued strong middle class will lead to inequality on many levels outside of income alone, including family structure and education. The middle class is the foundation for the majority of jobs that comprise the domestic workforce.
There are tens of millions of middle-skill jobs in the United States today making up the largest segment of our labor market. Despite the presence of 5.4 million open positions nationwide, we are experiencing the highest unemployment or underemployment rate among our young people in history, including those with a college degree.
Read more about how the decline of the middle class can be reversed.