The Middle Class Is Getting Pushed Out Of NYC

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Photo: Daniel Goodman / Business Insider

Soaring housing costs, declining income levels, and a job market yet to regain ground have hit New York City residents hard — especially its middle class.To even be considered middle class in the city, residents need to bankroll between $45,000 and $134,000 per year, The New York Times recently reported. In other parts of the country, that drops to $33,000 – $100,000. 

“We need to make sure that the people who want to stay in our great city can afford to stay here,” City Council Speaker Christine Quinn said in a recent State of the City address.

One of the largest concerns among city leaders is securing more affordable housing (Manhattan apartments cost $3,973 a month on average ––  $2,800 more than the national average). Quinn is spearheading the construction of 40,000 new middle-income housing units over the next decade, a move she hopes will give the cash-strapped class room to breathe. 

Her office recently released a report on the state of the city’s middle class community. We’ve pulled out the most compelling charts from the presentation. 

New York City is by far the most expensive city in the US.

Most residents spend nearly 30 per cent of their income on housing.

In Manhattan, residents shell out more than 4x the national average for homes.

And their incomes are hardly keeping pace with the demand.

In fact, many middle income earners have watched their earnings dwindle even as the economy recovers from the Great Recession.

Average unemployment among middle class workers is 3x higher than it was before the recession.

Which means middle income earners now make up a smaller percentage of the job market.

One of the problems is that they may be too well-educated for the job market.

Most jobs in New York City target lower-income workers.

High-earning sectors have all seen steep declines in job growth in the last decade.

Amidst all this, the middle class is still growing more diverse by the year.

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