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Cash Crunch, for Many, Is a Monthly Woe

Wall Street Journal (05/20/15) Nick Timiraos

A JPMorgan Chase study of 100,000 of its customers reveals that the bottom 80% of customers by income do not have enough savings to cover income and spending volatility, and experts say the study emphasizes that insecurity is not driven solely by job loss and other unexpected events. New York University economist Jonathan Morduch notes that volatility has become “a normal part of a lot of folks’ lives given the way we’re earning today.”

Income insecurity has been exacerbated by the recession and stagnant wages, according to experts. A report by the Pew Charitable Trusts shows that the average household saw incomes rise 22% between 1979 and 1999 but only 2% between 1999 and 2009, flattening for most workers since then. Data reveals that almost 5% of the workforce, or 7.1 million Americans, held multiple jobs last month, and 6.6 million workers held part-time jobs despite wanting full-time positions.