Under Attack: Texas' Middle Class and the Opportunity Crisis

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Don Baylor /(512) 320-0222 x 108
Leslie Helmcamp /(512) 320-0222

August 19, 2011

Press Release >>  
Report: Texas Middle Class Under Attack >>  
Texas Jobs Analysis - August 2011 >>  

(AUSTIN, Texas) — The American Dream means working hard to learn, earn, save, and build assets so that our families are financially secure. These opportunities are in short supply in Texas. As today’s new jobs numbers show, Texas’ unemployment rate rose to 8.4 percent, marking the 23rd month the state unemployment rate has exceeded 8 percent, which ties the modern-day stretch set in the wake of the 1980s oil and real estate bust (Feb. 1986-Dec. 1987). With the state’s jobless rate higher than the past two recessions, many more Texans are experiencing sharp losses in their family income. A new report released today titled, “Under Attack: Texas’ Middle Class and the Job Crisis" suggests that stagnant incomes, a lack of good-paying jobs, and a lack of health insurance are the real issues that are crippling Texas’ middle class.

The report, co-published by CPPP and national policy center Demos, examines how stagnant wages, falling union participation, the lack of good jobs and health benefits, and the rising cost of a college education are all squeezing the Texas’ middle class.