New Jersey’s Middle Class Continue To Struggle [AUDIO]
The middle class in New Jersey is falling further behind as they struggle with lower wages, less savings and more debt.
A new survey by the Pew Research Center found that 85 percent who believe they are in the middle class think it is much harder to maintain their standard of living now than a decade ago.
"Everything cost a lot of money, everyone is worried about losing a job, getting a job" said Laura from Toms River.
"I am definitely struggling, trying to keep my head above water, but I think everyone is" said Bob from Manchester.
The biggest issue is that their wealth is deteriorating. 42 percent of people who identify themselves as the middle class say they are in worse shape financially than before the recession.
The middle class also took a bigger hit on the pay front. While incomes across all class levels declined the middle class saw the biggest decline, with a median income for a four person household declining to roughly $70,000 in 2010 from about $73,000 in 2001, the report said.
"The cost of day to day living is just way too hard" said Sarah from Brick.
Most New Jerseyans were not surprised by the report.
"Middle class, there is not middle class anymore, its either rich or poor, unfortunately" said Bill from Toms River.
"We need to reduce the size of government, get some jobs back and get people back to work, that's the only way we are going to make this state and this country better" said another man.