AZ Snapshot: The Shrinking Middle Class

Posted on September 28, 2016 • Category: Jobs and Employment


U.S. adults with a full-time job, the lowest full-time employment level
since 2010 according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The Invisible American

Gallup, September 20, 2016


A new study released by the U.S. Census Bureau shows a 5.3% increase in household income in 2015. While individual median earnings also increased last year, fewer Americans are living in a middle-class household, decreasing from 61% in 1971 to 50% in 2014. How does Arizona compare to the nation in median earnings and how powerful is education in predicting median earnings?

Key findings from the U.S. Census Bureau:

National Comparison - Median Earnings



State Comparison - Median Earnings

Note: Cost-of-living data are not yet available for 2015.



50% Americans living in middle class households has declined from 61% in 1971 to 50% today according to a Pew Research Center report. Middle class workers earned 43% of the nation’s income in 2014, down from 62% in 1970.
Income Inequality has squeezed the Middle Class Out of the Majority.  

The Washington Post, December 9, 2015


30% U.S. workers who worry about having their benefits reduced comes from a variety of concerns – wages cut, hours cut, being laid off or jobs moving overseas. Government and union workers are more concerned than private sector employees.
U.S. Workers Still Worry Most About Benefit Cuts  

Gallup Analytics, September 13, 2016


5.3% Increase in real median incomes for family households in 2015, the first annual increase since 2007.
Income, Poverty and Health Insurance Coverage in the United States: 2015  

U.S. Census Bureau, September 13, 2016

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Lattie F. Coor

My Perspective

When CFA set out to build a citizens' agenda for Arizona, we didn't know it would end up placing Arizona at the center of a national struggle to address the challenges confronting democracy today–the growing lack of confidence that citizens have in government and their growing lack of participation in the civic life of our communities and nation.

In many ways, Arizona is a microcosm of these challenges. This fact was made clear in the results of the Gallup Arizona Poll (2009), which identified the deep concerns that Arizonans have about the need for both effective leaders and engaged citizens. CFA is now in the process of building Arizona Progress Meters for each of the 8 citizen goals defined by the people who live here. The culmination of these goals is The Arizona We Want.

The Arizona We Want is a long-term vision and it can be achieved if we work together.

Learn More about how CFA is activating the citizens' agenda for Arizona.

Citizen goals sit at the heart of all we do.