Author Topic: Whopping 62 percent of jobs don't support middle-class life  (Read 802 times)

Slee_stack

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Whopping 62 percent of jobs don't support middle-class life
« on: October 30, 2018, 10:08:47 AM »
A great clickbait title!

https://www.usatoday.com/story/money/2018/10/30/jobs-62-percent-fall-short-middle-class-standard-us/1809629002/

Quote
Nationally, the study found:

30 percent of jobs are “hardship jobs,” meaning they don’t allow a single adult to make ends meet.
32 percent are “living wage” jobs, enough to get by but not to take vacations, save for retirement or live in a moderately priced home.
23 percent are middle-class jobs, allowing for dining out, modest vacations and putting some money away for retirement.
15 percent are “professional jobs,” paving the way for a more comfortable life that includes more elaborate vacations and entertainment and a more expensive home.

The good news is that if you are a 'professional', you can go ahead and take elaborate vacations and buy a more expensive home.

Aelias

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Re: Whopping 62 percent of jobs don't support middle-class life
« Reply #1 on: October 30, 2018, 10:49:25 AM »
Quote
But because of the $1,440 a month rent on her studio apartment in the Prospect-Lefferts Gardens neighborhood, she never takes vacations, dines out just once a month and scrapes together dinner leftovers for lunch the next day

Hey!  You leave the leftovers out of this!

MasterStache

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Re: Whopping 62 percent of jobs don't support middle-class life
« Reply #2 on: October 30, 2018, 11:03:38 AM »
Quote
But because of the $1,440 a month rent on her studio apartment in the Prospect-Lefferts Gardens neighborhood, she never takes vacations, dines out just once a month and scrapes together dinner leftovers for lunch the next day

Hey!  You leave the leftovers out of this!

Ha! I didn't read the article. But $1,440/mo in rent?!?!? My house payment is far less than that in a HCOL area.

HamsterStache

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Re: Whopping 62 percent of jobs don't support middle-class life
« Reply #3 on: October 30, 2018, 11:06:09 AM »
Quote
Esther Akutekha, who lives in Brooklyn, New York, has a good job as a public relations specialist that pays more than $50,000 a year.

But because of the $1,440 a month rent on her studio apartment in the Prospect-Lefferts Gardens neighborhood, she never takes vacations, dines out just once a month and scrapes together dinner leftovers for lunch the next day.

Where is half her money going? She has no kids, so her primary expenses should be rent and food - giving a generous weekly allowance for a single person to eat, she's still below $25k a year for food and shelter, leaving another $25k on the table.

Aelias

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Re: Whopping 62 percent of jobs don't support middle-class life
« Reply #4 on: October 30, 2018, 11:39:40 AM »
Quote
But because of the $1,440 a month rent on her studio apartment in the Prospect-Lefferts Gardens neighborhood, she never takes vacations, dines out just once a month and scrapes together dinner leftovers for lunch the next day

Hey!  You leave the leftovers out of this!

Ha! I didn't read the article. But $1,440/mo in rent?!?!? My house payment is far less than that in a HCOL area.

Meh.  I paid $1,200 a month for verrrrry shitty one bedroom apartment in a HCOL back in 2005. This one checks out for me.

But I'm looking at this as I'm eating my leftover lunch, and I'm like, "Wait--are there people who don'teat leftovers for lunch?"  File to Mustachian People Problems.

PS - It was a chicken and veggie risotto, and it was pretty good!

galliver

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Re: Whopping 62 percent of jobs don't support middle-class life
« Reply #5 on: October 30, 2018, 11:53:13 AM »
Quote
But because of the $1,440 a month rent on her studio apartment in the Prospect-Lefferts Gardens neighborhood, she never takes vacations, dines out just once a month and scrapes together dinner leftovers for lunch the next day

Hey!  You leave the leftovers out of this!

Ha! I didn't read the article. But $1,440/mo in rent?!?!? My house payment is far less than that in a HCOL area.
Not sure you're in a HCOL area... That isn't unusual in NY, SF, or LA.

DS

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Re: Whopping 62 percent of jobs don't support middle-class life
« Reply #6 on: October 30, 2018, 11:54:53 AM »
Quote from: USAToday
“I don’t even know if I can afford” to have children.

Unsure why the last part is outside the quotes? Did she say something else and they replaced it with "to have children?"


They should point all of the participants with issues to the Case Study section! Then we can determine what's going on here :P

HamsterStache

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Re: Whopping 62 percent of jobs don't support middle-class life
« Reply #7 on: October 30, 2018, 12:02:01 PM »
Quote from: USAToday
“I don’t even know if I can afford” to have children.

Unsure why the last part is outside the quotes? Did she say something else and they replaced it with "to have children?"


They should point all of the participants with issues to the Case Study section! Then we can determine what's going on here :P

It was probably something along the lines of:

Q: Do you plan to have kids one day?

A: "I don't even know if I can afford that."

Though I would have written it as "I don't even know if I can afford [to have children]." So maybe they just have a bad copy editor.

Bracken_Joy

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Re: Whopping 62 percent of jobs don't support middle-class life
« Reply #8 on: October 30, 2018, 12:05:06 PM »
Quote
Esther Akutekha, who lives in Brooklyn, New York, has a good job as a public relations specialist that pays more than $50,000 a year.

But because of the $1,440 a month rent on her studio apartment in the Prospect-Lefferts Gardens neighborhood, she never takes vacations, dines out just once a month and scrapes together dinner leftovers for lunch the next day.

Where is half her money going? She has no kids, so her primary expenses should be rent and food - giving a generous weekly allowance for a single person to eat, she's still below $25k a year for food and shelter, leaving another $25k on the table.

Taxes, student loan payment, health insurance, transit pass or even more, car payment plus insurance... that salary can go FAST without any particular extravagance. New York city has its own income tax on top of everything else. Based on this calculator: https://smartasset.com/taxes/new-york-tax-calculator#J3k3HVzqzq She'd be left with $39,600 after tax. $3300/month. Remove $1400 in rent. I used a tool to look up health insurance, for a bronze plan for her it would be $480/month. (Maybe her employer gives her health insurance, but mine doesn't, so I never take that for granted). All of a sudden you're looking at less than $1500/month in one of the most expensive cities on earth.

Do you see how quick that can evaporate?

It just annoys me when people assume everyone else is being a wasteful dipshit, without doing any leg work.

JanetJackson

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Re: Whopping 62 percent of jobs don't support middle-class life
« Reply #9 on: October 30, 2018, 12:25:55 PM »
Quote
Esther Akutekha, who lives in Brooklyn, New York, has a good job as a public relations specialist that pays more than $50,000 a year.

But because of the $1,440 a month rent on her studio apartment in the Prospect-Lefferts Gardens neighborhood, she never takes vacations, dines out just once a month and scrapes together dinner leftovers for lunch the next day.

Where is half her money going? She has no kids, so her primary expenses should be rent and food - giving a generous weekly allowance for a single person to eat, she's still below $25k a year for food and shelter, leaving another $25k on the table.

Taxes, student loan payment, health insurance, transit pass or even more, car payment plus insurance... that salary can go FAST without any particular extravagance. New York city has its own income tax on top of everything else. Based on this calculator: https://smartasset.com/taxes/new-york-tax-calculator#J3k3HVzqzq She'd be left with $39,600 after tax. $3300/month. Remove $1400 in rent. I used a tool to look up health insurance, for a bronze plan for her it would be $480/month. (Maybe her employer gives her health insurance, but mine doesn't, so I never take that for granted). All of a sudden you're looking at less than $1500/month in one of the most expensive cities on earth.

Do you see how quick that can evaporate?

It just annoys me when people assume everyone else is being a wasteful dipshit, without doing any leg work.

THANK YOU for saying this.

DS

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Re: Whopping 62 percent of jobs don't support middle-class life
« Reply #10 on: October 30, 2018, 12:30:02 PM »
It just annoys me when people assume everyone else is being a wasteful dipshit, without doing any leg work.

Yes it's hard to judge without details! We need some good case studies where we can really dig in!

Bracken_Joy

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Re: Whopping 62 percent of jobs don't support middle-class life
« Reply #11 on: October 30, 2018, 12:36:20 PM »
It just annoys me when people assume everyone else is being a wasteful dipshit, without doing any leg work.

Yes it's hard to judge without details! We need some good case studies where we can really dig in!

I love case studies. Because it's people coming in, and inviting feedback. They want help/change/information, and then we have details, and can learn priorities and struggles and more of the whole picture. Drive by assumptions about others doesn't help anyone IMO.

Steeze

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Re: Whopping 62 percent of jobs don't support middle-class life
« Reply #12 on: October 30, 2018, 12:36:44 PM »
Quote
Esther Akutekha, who lives in Brooklyn, New York, has a good job as a public relations specialist that pays more than $50,000 a year.

But because of the $1,440 a month rent on her studio apartment in the Prospect-Lefferts Gardens neighborhood, she never takes vacations, dines out just once a month and scrapes together dinner leftovers for lunch the next day.

Where is half her money going? She has no kids, so her primary expenses should be rent and food - giving a generous weekly allowance for a single person to eat, she's still below $25k a year for food and shelter, leaving another $25k on the table.

Taxes, student loan payment, health insurance, transit pass or even more, car payment plus insurance... that salary can go FAST without any particular extravagance. New York city has its own income tax on top of everything else. Based on this calculator: https://smartasset.com/taxes/new-york-tax-calculator#J3k3HVzqzq She'd be left with $39,600 after tax. $3300/month. Remove $1400 in rent. I used a tool to look up health insurance, for a bronze plan for her it would be $480/month. (Maybe her employer gives her health insurance, but mine doesn't, so I never take that for granted). All of a sudden you're looking at less than $1500/month in one of the most expensive cities on earth.

Do you see how quick that can evaporate?

It just annoys me when people assume everyone else is being a wasteful dipshit, without doing any leg work.

THANK YOU for saying this.

And after 300$/mo in food and 200$/mo for a metro card, she could "only" max out an IRA, get a full company match on her 401k, and save $800/mo cash.


Slee_stack

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Re: Whopping 62 percent of jobs don't support middle-class life
« Reply #13 on: October 30, 2018, 12:41:56 PM »


Taxes, student loan payment, health insurance, transit pass or even more, car payment plus insurance... that salary can go FAST without any particular extravagance. New York city has its own income tax on top of everything else. Based on this calculator: https://smartasset.com/taxes/new-york-tax-calculator#J3k3HVzqzq She'd be left with $39,600 after tax. $3300/month. Remove $1400 in rent. I used a tool to look up health insurance, for a bronze plan for her it would be $480/month. (Maybe her employer gives her health insurance, but mine doesn't, so I never take that for granted). All of a sudden you're looking at less than $1500/month in one of the most expensive cities on earth.

Do you see how quick that can evaporate?

It just annoys me when people assume everyone else is being a wasteful dipshit, without doing any leg work.
Specifically in response to 'wasteful dipshit' presumptions....

Likewise, I also get incredibly annoyed when an article parades a 'victim' without providing any tangible evidence of the so-called wrongdoings....only vagaries that, on their own, are not enough to support the headline.

If there is good supporting evidence, why not include it?  Because its actually an entertainment, spur-rage article.

Because of all the clickbait nowadays, I immediately presume the opposite of what an article headline is trying to sell me....unless there is the rare good data included to back it up.


robartsd

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Re: Whopping 62 percent of jobs don't support middle-class life
« Reply #14 on: October 30, 2018, 12:45:23 PM »
Quote
Esther Akutekha, who lives in Brooklyn, New York, has a good job as a public relations specialist that pays more than $50,000 a year.

But because of the $1,440 a month rent on her studio apartment in the Prospect-Lefferts Gardens neighborhood, she never takes vacations, dines out just once a month and scrapes together dinner leftovers for lunch the next day.

Where is half her money going? She has no kids, so her primary expenses should be rent and food - giving a generous weekly allowance for a single person to eat, she's still below $25k a year for food and shelter, leaving another $25k on the table.

Taxes, student loan payment, health insurance, transit pass or even more, car payment plus insurance... that salary can go FAST without any particular extravagance. New York city has its own income tax on top of everything else. Based on this calculator: https://smartasset.com/taxes/new-york-tax-calculator#J3k3HVzqzq She'd be left with $39,600 after tax. $3300/month. Remove $1400 in rent. I used a tool to look up health insurance, for a bronze plan for her it would be $480/month. (Maybe her employer gives her health insurance, but mine doesn't, so I never take that for granted). All of a sudden you're looking at less than $1500/month in one of the most expensive cities on earth.

Do you see how quick that can evaporate?

It just annoys me when people assume everyone else is being a wasteful dipshit, without doing any leg work.

And after 300$/mo in food and 200$/mo for a metro card, she could "only" max out an IRA, get a full company match on her 401k, and save $800/mo cash.
What about utilities and entertainment? https://www.numbeo.com/cost-of-living/in/Brooklyn estimates that cost of living (excludes rent and healthcare) for a single person in Brooklyn is $1134.31/mo. What's left (~$245/mo; <6% of income) would be difficult to accumulate enough to retire at standard retirement age (even assuming no changes to SS benefits). Of course with a full case study I'm sure we could find plenty of anti-mustachian spending, but it's not hard to see how this income level doesn't support typical perceived middle class spending.

Dabnasty

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Re: Whopping 62 percent of jobs don't support middle-class life
« Reply #15 on: October 30, 2018, 01:00:46 PM »
Quote
Esther Akutekha, who lives in Brooklyn, New York, has a good job as a public relations specialist that pays more than $50,000 a year.

But because of the $1,440 a month rent on her studio apartment in the Prospect-Lefferts Gardens neighborhood, she never takes vacations, dines out just once a month and scrapes together dinner leftovers for lunch the next day.

Where is half her money going? She has no kids, so her primary expenses should be rent and food - giving a generous weekly allowance for a single person to eat, she's still below $25k a year for food and shelter, leaving another $25k on the table.

Taxes, student loan payment, health insurance, transit pass or even more, car payment plus insurance... that salary can go FAST without any particular extravagance. New York city has its own income tax on top of everything else. Based on this calculator: https://smartasset.com/taxes/new-york-tax-calculator#J3k3HVzqzq She'd be left with $39,600 after tax. $3300/month. Remove $1400 in rent. I used a tool to look up health insurance, for a bronze plan for her it would be $480/month. (Maybe her employer gives her health insurance, but mine doesn't, so I never take that for granted). All of a sudden you're looking at less than $1500/month in one of the most expensive cities on earth.

Do you see how quick that can evaporate?

It just annoys me when people assume everyone else is being a wasteful dipshit, without doing any leg work.

Not really, there's still $1380/month based on the numbers you've estimated. After the categories you've already accounted for my personal spend on everything else is under $500/month. But maybe I'm a little on the cheap side so let's use some slightly more generous numbers than my own.

$3300
 -$1440 rent
 -$480 health insurance

$1380
 -$300 groceries
 -$50 eating out once a month
 -$30 cell phone
 -$60 electric
 -$50 internet
 -$100 transportation
 -$20 prescriptions/medicines
 -$20 clothes
 -$50 gym membership

I feel like I'm reaching for categories at this point and there's still $700 left. Any other categories we should add?



HamsterStache

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Re: Whopping 62 percent of jobs don't support middle-class life
« Reply #16 on: October 30, 2018, 01:12:04 PM »

Do you see how quick that can evaporate?

It just annoys me when people assume everyone else is being a wasteful dipshit, without doing any leg work.

Sorry, didn't mean to come off assuming that - was a legitimate question due to the lack of details in the article

HamsterStache

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Re: Whopping 62 percent of jobs don't support middle-class life
« Reply #17 on: October 30, 2018, 01:17:41 PM »


I feel like I'm reaching for categories at this point and there's still $700 left. Any other categories we should add?

Agreed, which is why I pondered where exactly her money is going in the first place - but it really is hard to judge with so few actual details. An expensive student loan is another possible category.

Dabnasty

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Re: Whopping 62 percent of jobs don't support middle-class life
« Reply #18 on: October 30, 2018, 01:18:27 PM »


Taxes, student loan payment, health insurance, transit pass or even more, car payment plus insurance... that salary can go FAST without any particular extravagance. New York city has its own income tax on top of everything else. Based on this calculator: https://smartasset.com/taxes/new-york-tax-calculator#J3k3HVzqzq She'd be left with $39,600 after tax. $3300/month. Remove $1400 in rent. I used a tool to look up health insurance, for a bronze plan for her it would be $480/month. (Maybe her employer gives her health insurance, but mine doesn't, so I never take that for granted). All of a sudden you're looking at less than $1500/month in one of the most expensive cities on earth.

Do you see how quick that can evaporate?

It just annoys me when people assume everyone else is being a wasteful dipshit, without doing any leg work.
Specifically in response to 'wasteful dipshit' presumptions....

Likewise, I also get incredibly annoyed when an article parades a 'victim' without providing any tangible evidence of the so-called wrongdoings....only vagaries that, on their own, are not enough to support the headline.

If there is good supporting evidence, why not include it?  Because its actually an entertainment, spur-rage article.

Because of all the clickbait nowadays, I immediately presume the opposite of what an article headline is trying to sell me....unless there is the rare good data included to back it up.

Exactly. The article specifically says she is unable to save due to her cost of rent but in reality that cost accounts for well under half of her spending. Now, I don't expect a complete breakdown of all of her spending but based on the estimates some of us have provided I suspect there must be some other major expense that wasn't mentioned or she's just living a normal consumerist lifestyle and bleeding $5 here, $10 there without understanding where it goes.

Oh, and I'd bet a $1 when she says "dines out just once a month" that really means "at a nice sit down restaurant" and take out/fast food don't count.

Bracken_Joy

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Re: Whopping 62 percent of jobs don't support middle-class life
« Reply #19 on: October 30, 2018, 01:43:05 PM »
Quote
Esther Akutekha, who lives in Brooklyn, New York, has a good job as a public relations specialist that pays more than $50,000 a year.

But because of the $1,440 a month rent on her studio apartment in the Prospect-Lefferts Gardens neighborhood, she never takes vacations, dines out just once a month and scrapes together dinner leftovers for lunch the next day.

Where is half her money going? She has no kids, so her primary expenses should be rent and food - giving a generous weekly allowance for a single person to eat, she's still below $25k a year for food and shelter, leaving another $25k on the table.

Taxes, student loan payment, health insurance, transit pass or even more, car payment plus insurance... that salary can go FAST without any particular extravagance. New York city has its own income tax on top of everything else. Based on this calculator: https://smartasset.com/taxes/new-york-tax-calculator#J3k3HVzqzq She'd be left with $39,600 after tax. $3300/month. Remove $1400 in rent. I used a tool to look up health insurance, for a bronze plan for her it would be $480/month. (Maybe her employer gives her health insurance, but mine doesn't, so I never take that for granted). All of a sudden you're looking at less than $1500/month in one of the most expensive cities on earth.

Do you see how quick that can evaporate?

It just annoys me when people assume everyone else is being a wasteful dipshit, without doing any leg work.

Not really, there's still $1380/month based on the numbers you've estimated. After the categories you've already accounted for my personal spend on everything else is under $500/month. But maybe I'm a little on the cheap side so let's use some slightly more generous numbers than my own.

$3300
 -$1440 rent
 -$480 health insurance

$1380
 -$300 groceries
 -$50 eating out once a month
 -$30 cell phone
 -$60 electric
 -$50 internet
 -$100 transportation
 -$20 prescriptions/medicines
 -$20 clothes
 -$50 gym membership

I feel like I'm reaching for categories at this point and there's still $700 left. Any other categories we should add?

A young single woman in New York? I imagine she gets her hair cut and colored, buys make up, spends more than $240/yr on clothes, and so on. That adds up very quickly even if you're doing groupon cuts and rite aid makeup. On a shitty bronze plan, seeing your GP can be $40 (or at least, that's how much it cost me last year, and specialists were $80). Add in a trip home to see family for the holidays assuming she's from elsewhere, a cable package, amazon prime and netflix, and a student loan (my payments are $350/month and that's only 2 years of school with scholarships that I took loans for, and my living expenses were covered by my fiance, and I already paid off half of them). The numbers, they can definitely add up.

Am I saying she's mustachian and there's nothing for her to cut? Absolutely not what I'm saying. Just that someone doesn't have to be going out for margaritas and have a closet stuffed with designer shoes to run through a $55k salary in NYC. And she's spending 42% of her take home on rent. My understanding is "affordable" is considered 30% or less, right? Yeah the rent isn't all of it, but it sure doesn't help.

I don't know. I just don't see the point of assuming you know better than someone in a random article that is essentially "flavor text" on an otherwise fairly dry economic study.