Americans are sick and tired of hearing that the economy is going ‘just fine’ when they continue to face major challenges to make ends meet every month. The cost of food is still soaring, gas prices jumped to an eight-month high this month, rent and housing costs are taking an even larger share of people’s monthly payments, utilities are more expensive, and somehow we’re still expected to have money left to save for emergencies and our futures at the end of every month.
That seems too much to ask for many struggling families. There’s no way everything is ‘just fine’ when the biggest part of our population is going into debt to be able to cover their basic needs while over 30 million people have fallen below the poverty line.
No matter what the media or government officials say, what we’re facing on a daily basis is far more real than their numbers and projections about the economy. They say inflation is going down, but many of us are still seeing the cost of groceries hit new highs everytime we visit the store. We’re paying more for our houses, our rents, our cars, and virtually everything we consume.
If that’s what a normal economy looks like, then we’re in far more trouble than we all imagined. Wheather they want to admit it or not, we’re on the middle of a devastating economic downturn, and our population is deeply hurting from it. The most important indicators debunk anyone who says the U.S. economy is in the right direction.
For example, last month, employers added just 221,000 jobs, the smallest gain in two and half years. Job openings have also dropped to the lowest level since May 2021. So far this year, several large companies have announced mass layoffs, such as 3M, which conducted 6,000 job cuts; while Disney slashed 7,000 jobs, Amazon laid-off 18,000 workers, Meta eliminated 11,000 positions, Google reduced its workforce by 6% or 12,000 jobs, and Walgreens just announced that 16% of its staff members will face lay-offs in the coming months.
New Morning Consult data finds that Americans are deeply concerned about widespread job losses, with 75% citing those worries in May 2023. The report also revealed that nearly 2 in 5 U.S. adults are concerned about losing their own job, including 17% of baby boomers, 45% of Gen Xers, 56% of millennials, and 52% of Gen Zers.
Meanwhile, from January 2020 to January 2023, the number of job openings for middle-income positions fell by almost 10 percentage points, according to The Pew Research Center. While in early 2020, nearly 25% of job openings offered annual salaries between $58,000 and $99,000, by January this year, only 15% of open positions offered the same pay.
35% of open jobs offer upper-income salaries of $100,000 or more. Typically, these positions are filled only by high-skilled professionals and college-educated Americans. In contrast, half of open positions in 2023 are for low-wage jobs.
Today, we compiled several numbers that prove conditions are getting harder for American workers as the cost of living crisis continues to accelerate.
Article and video cross-posted from Epic Economist.