Michigan’s stumbling middle class

Most Michigan middle class families are poorer than their parents, when their incomes are adjusted for inflation. The impact can be seen at Macomb Community College, which operates two food banks for its students.

James Jacobs hands a guest to his Macomb Community College office his latest economic forecast, a puzzling six-page mix of good news and bad news.

The number of jobs in Macomb, the state’s third-most populous county, are increasing. New home construction is rising, as is industrial expansion. But more residents are also going to food pantries and receiving federal Supplemental Security Income (SSI). Median household income has fallen sharply.

Jacobs, a well-known economist in addition to being a community college president, doesn’t need bar charts and spreadsheets to know that something has happened to Michigan’s middle class. There are now two food banks on campus. The parking lots aren’t as full as they used…

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