Third of Americans cut spending, manufacturing hits 32-month low, Wealth gap grows, workers can’t even afford rents

Third of Americans cut spending…

  • A third of Americans say they’ve cut spending in the last year, and that percentage is about the same no matter the demographic, according to the Invest in You Spending Survey released on Monday.
  • Reasons for spending less ranged from a loss of household income and new debt to fear of recession, job loss or large medical bills from an unexpected illness or injury.
  • Twice as many Democrats as Republicans said they’d cut their spending due to anxiety over the economy.

 

Manufacturing hits 32-month low amid weakening demand…

Washington (AFP) – US manufacturing activity last month fell to its lowest level in nearly three years — well below the pace when President Donald Trump took office — another warning sign for the world’s largest economy as it marks the longest expansion on record.

The manufacturing slowdown was driven by weakening demand for US-made goods, with factories reluctant to produce stock they may not be able to sell, according to the Institute for Supply Management’s monthly survey.

The report coincides with precipitous drops in regional manufacturing surveys that took a hit from President Donald Trump’s threats to impose tariffs on Mexican imports and the drought in new orders suffered by crisis-hit Boeing.

 

Wealth gap grows despite record-long economic growth…

WASHINGTON (AP) — As it enters its 11th year, America’s economic expansion is now the longest on record — a streak that has shrunk unemployment, swelled household wealth, revived the housing market and helped fuel an explosive rise in the stock market.

Yet even after a full decade of uninterrupted economic growth, the richest Americans now hold a greater share of the nation’s wealth than they did before the Great Recession began in 2007. And income growth has been sluggish by historical standards, leaving many Americans feeling stuck in place.

Those trends help explain something unique about this expansion: It’s easily the least-celebrated economic recovery in decades.

As public discontent has grown, the issue has become one for political candidates to harness — beginning with Donald Trump in 2016. Now, some of the Democrats running to challenge Trump for the presidency have built their campaigns around proposals to tax wealth, raise minimum wages or ease the financial strain of medical care and higher education.

America’s financial disparities have widened in large part because the means by which people build wealth have become more exclusive since the Great Recession.

Fewer middle-class Americans own homes. Fewer are invested in the stock market. And home prices have risen far more in wealthier metro areas on the coasts than in more modestly priced cities and rural areas. The result is that affluent homeowners now sit on vast sums of home equity and capital gains, while tens of millions of ordinary households have been left mainly on the sidelines.

Rent Is Becoming Unaffordable For Many U.S. Workers

The National Low Income Housing Coalition has published its latest “Out of Reach” report which shows that renting is becoming increasingly unaffordable for countless Americans.

Its central statistic is the Housing Wage which is an estimate of the hourly wage a full-time worker must earn to rent a homewithout spending more than 30 percent of his or her income on housing costsAs Statista’s Niall McCarthy notes, for 2019, the Housing Wage is $22.96 and $18.65 for a modest two and one-bedroom flat respectively based on the “fair market rent”.

A worker earning the federal wage would have to put in 127 hours every week – equivalent to more than two full-time jobs – to afford a two-bedroom apartment. It isn’t just a regional issue – there isn’t a single state, metro area or county in the U.S. where a full-time worker earning the minimum wage can afford to rent a two-bedroom property.

It isn’t just workers on the minimum wage who are effected.

The report also states that the average renter’s hourly wage is $1.08 less than the Housing Wage for a one-bedroom rental and $5.39 less than a two-bedroom rental. That means that an average renter in the U.S. has to work a 52 hour week, something that becomes increasingly difficult if that renter is a single parent of someone struggling with a disability. When it comes to the situation in different occupations, a median-wage worker in eight of the country’s largest ten occupations does not earn enough to afford a one-bedroom apartment.

Infographic: Rent Is Becoming Unaffordable For Many U.S. Workers  | Statista

You will find more infographics at Statista

 

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