A single worker with two young children needs an annual income of $58,000, or $27 an hour, to attain economic stability, Motoko Rich writes in his review of a new study from the nonprofit group Wider Opportunities for Women.
Here's the striking graph from the New York Times:
If $27 an hour buys a family economic security in the U.S., consider that the average hourly wage across the economy sits just under $23 -- and it hasn't moved more than cent in 3 months.
The long end of the recession is backing up against a rapid global increase in food and energy costs, driven by the global recovery in demand. Flat salaries plus the rising cost of essential equals a summer of discontent for the U.S. consumer. Considering that food and transportation account for about 20% of the average family's costs, this represents another headwind blowing back the typical American family just as their home values have begun to stabilize at a new normal.
Economy-watchers can find more reason to worry when they peruse the BLS's survey of the fastest growing jobs in the next 10 years. Some of the fastest growing sectors -- especially in retail, food services and health care -- consistently pay way below the economic security line.
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