UNDERNEWS

Undernews is the online report of the Progressive Review, edited by Sam Smith, who has covered Washington during all or part of one quarter of America's presidencies and edited alternative journals since 1964. The Review has been on the web since 1995. See main page for full contents

February 6, 2009

NYC LOSING ITS MIDDLE CLASS

Portfolio - The Center for an Urban Future has released a startling report on the fate of New York's middle classes -- even as the population of the city continues to grow, its middle class is shrinking, and when it comes to domestic migration, there are clearly many more New Yorkers leaving town than there are people from other US towns moving in.

More residents left the five boroughs for other locales in each of the years between 2002 and 2006 than in 1993, when the city was in far worse shape. In 2006, the city had a net loss of 151,441 residents through domestic out-migration, compared to a decline of 141,047 in 1993. . .

A huge part of this is the sheer expense of living in New York -- not just housing costs, although that's a lot of it, but everything else, too, from car insurance to the price of milk. But it's also that there simply aren't middle-class job opportunities in New York any more:

Of the 10 occupations that are expected to have the largest number of annual job openings in the city through 2014, only two offer median wages greater than $28,000 a year. Taking a wider view, 16 of the 40 occupations projected to have the largest number of annual job openings over the same period pay median wages below $30,000 a year, while another six pay between $30,000 and $40,000.

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