|By Lee Howard, The Day, New London, Conn.|
|McClatchy-Tribune Information Services|
"Five years into the economic recovery, millions of American families are still treading water in the deep end," the report said.
The report defined families as being financially insecure if they lacked savings to cover expenses at the federal poverty level for more than three months after a personal emergency. A family of four in
"Growing numbers of middle class households in our state fall short of that amount," the report said.
Even people with full-time jobs are having a hard time making ends meet, she said, as the cost of food, fuel, health care and insurance continues to erode paychecks.
"It's very symptomatic of the shrinking middle class," Monahan said.
Compounding the problem, she added, is the soft job market locally and the many layoffs seen at pharmaceutical giant
"It does put people into a tailspin," she said. "It is very distressing to be employed 10, 15, 20 years and then to see yourself all of a sudden unemployed."
"It's a pretty scary situation," Lawton said.
"We need to stand behind asset-building tools that help working families to make ends meet, like
Other key findings of the report were:
–College debt was up 8 percent in the most recent nationwide figures. Students now are nearly
–Only 44 percent of employers nationwide are funding retirement plans, down from 47 percent a few years earlier.
–Minority households are closing the gap nationally, but have only about 10 percent the net worth of white households.
–Minorities' rate of homeownership is 46 percent nationally, versus 72 percent for whites.
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