The fifth anniversary of the start of the Great Recession just passed and some experts have just gotten shocking news. A record number of Americans, specifically 8.4% of them, consider themselves to be “lower class.” That is the highest number of people who have considered themselves lower class in the more than 40 years that the question has been asked by the General Social Survey. An independent survey group affiliated with the University of Chicago runs the annual survey.
Less than 55% of those who responded to the survey agreed with the statement “people like me and my family have a good chance of improving our standard of living.” That is also the lowest level since the General Survey first asked that question in 1987. Therefore, the overall view of the general public is that there is not much hope for economic improvement in the near future.
For decades, most Americans have been considered working class or middle class, but according to the recent survey, many people have begun to have a different outlook. After soaking in the shocking results of the survey, many experts said those who are not happy with their current economic situations probably won’t feel any better during the upcoming months. Barclay’s recently trimmed its forecast for gross domestic product growth for this quarter after the recent retail sales report came in lower than expectations. The third quarter domestic product growth had been estimated at a low 1.6%, but expectations have now fallen to 1.5%.
While economists argue the economy is improving, but just slowly, many Americans do not indicate that they feel those improvements personally. Various financial reports and industry data indicate recovery, but that it is moving very slow. It could take several more months for the improvements to be felt nationwide by a majority of people, experts indicate.
Even in early economic downturns and times of financial difficulty, fewer people considered themselves lower class than the numbers indicate now. Jobless people have been the ones most likely to call themselves lower class, but in the recent years, those who have only part-time employment have been more likely to use the term as well. Some people are working two or even three jobs in an effort to make up the difference in pay, and even then, some say it just isn’t working.
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