City to Middle Class: Just Not That Into You

New York City’s middle class, long an endangered species, may be facing extinction if certain key economic factors don’t soon change, this according to a comprehensive report (PDF) released today by the Center for an Urban Future, a think tank.

The 53-page report, titled Reviving the City of Aspiration, lays bare the struggles of the middle class in New York: skyrocketing costs; stagnating wages; underfunded public education; and perhaps most frustrating, a disinterested city government. And they’re not taking it sitting down: the plight of the middle class is becoming the flight of the middle class – with the city’s vital center fleeing for more hospitable places like Charlotte, where 1,893 New Yorkers fled to in 2006, and Philadelphia, where 3,635 emigrated in 2006.

The paramount concern is, of course, skyrocketing property costs. In December, the median sales price for a Manhattan apartment was $900,00, an impossible price for the middle class, which is generally defined in the city as those households making up to $150,000. And the effective citywide rent was $2,801 in late ‘08 (that’s $33,612 in rent per year).  read more »

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