Millions of Americans in Economic Battle to Make Ends Meet

The Bush recovery has been good for Wall Street, but not Main Street. The economic recovery that began in 2001 has brought slow job growth, limited wage gains, and continued rising inequality. While families at the top of the income ladder have seen their incomes rise faster than inflation, those in the middle and bottom have seen theirs fall.

Millions now work in what we call “bad jobs.” While higher-wage workers take for granted that their jobs come with employer-based benefits like health insurance, a retirement plan, and maybe some paid time off, just over one-in-five workers (22.1 percent) are in a bad job — a job that pays low wages and provides no benefits.

That’s where government work supports — programs that ensure that families can access basics such as healthcare, childcare, food, and housing — are supposed step in and fill in the gaps.

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