What do years of stagnant wages, declining labor force participation, and job polarization (more jobs at the skill extremes, fewer in the middle) produce? Fewer people who consider themselves middle class, as the above Pew Research poll shows. (Thanks to Brookings’ Richard Reeves for the pointer.)
In 2008, 72% of Americans considered themselves “middle class (53%) or upper-middle class (19%). Now just 57% consider themselves “middle class” (44%) or “upper-middle class” (13%) Meanwhile, the number who see themselves as “lower-middle class” or “lower class” has risen to 40% from 25%.