The Public Interest

A shrinking middle class?

Marvin H. Kosters & Murray N. Ross

Winter 1988

THE U.S. ECONOMY has generated employment growth during the 1980s—indeed, during the past two decades—that is the envy of Western Europe. This impressive record of job creation, however, has been called into question by critics who fear that the quality of jobs has been deteriorating.  Workers are said to be getting mainly low-paying jobs with little opportunity for advancement; “good jobs” that pay middle-class wages are said to be disappearing.

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