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Wall Street Protesters Highlight Stressed Middle Class

Spencer Platt- Getty Images

The recession has brought unprecedented levels of unemployment, a decline in wages, and an increase in health insurance costs.

Economists say the “Occupy Wall Street” protests spotlight a stressed middle class.

Some of the biggest recent income losses were for recent college graduates, said Maury Randall, Professor of Finance at Rider University, “it’s not surprising that they are among the demonstrators, its no secret that these are tough economic times and there is a struggle to get a job nowadays.”

Randall says the monthly labor report shows that total employment is increasing at a very slow rate. “People are taking jobs they don’t want or are working part time and there is a lot of economic uncertainty out there so this is venting some of that distress.”

People are dropping out of the labor force at an alarming rate, “Unemployment is still at 9% and people are not working nationwide, not just here in New Jersey” said Randall.

According to government figures, the percentage of people out of work for six months or longer in this recession has been the highest since records have been kept dating back to World War II.

Randall says the problem is that there is no real clear solution about how to fix it. “There are those that want less government thinking that government is the problem and then there are those that want more government intervention believing that this will solve everything.”

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