New York City's dwindling middle class has been leaving the city in droves, as the city loses over 130 residents every day according to the latest US Census data.
Comprising 48% of city residents, those with annual incomes between $30,000 and $60,000 are feeling the squeeze from higher living costs, wage stagnation and high taxes that whittle away at disposable income. New York's exodus is topped only by Chicago, according to the data analyzed by Bloomberg.
For comparison, around 61% of New Yorkers were considered middle class in the 1970s.
"The middle class is getting squeezed," says economist Peter C. Earle of the American Institute for Economic Research. "The rich in New York City are getting richer; the poor are actually getting richer, but not rich enough to be middle class."
According to Earle, it isn't unreasonable to assume middle-class incomes have fallen at a more rapid pace in NYC due to the city's disproportionately high living costs.
of the estimated 175,000 net new private-sector jobs that have been created in New York City since 2017, fewer than 20 percent are paying middle-class salaries, Earle notes.
The arrival of highly paid Amazon jobs in Long Island City will hardly make a dent in that situation, say analysts. And if anything, the estimated $3 billion in subsidies could saddle taxpayers with huge long-term debt, they add. -New York Post
As the Post notes, one need look no further for evidence of the shrinking middle class than "borded-up retail stores," which reflect "rising rents and slackening consumer demand."
National chain-store locations have plunged in the city by 0.3 percent, to 7,849, this year, according to the Center for an Urban Future. And a record 18 chains, including Aerosoles and Nine West, vacated all their city sites in 2018.
One sector doing a booming “business” is food pantries. Despite a city unemployment rate of 4%, New York food pantries report elevated levels of demand, especially during the holiday season. -New York Post
Contrary to the stock-market linked troubles facing most Manhattanites, over one million New Yorkers have reported worrying that they don't have enough food to feed their families.