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The White Working Class: Challenges and Opportunities

Sept. 19, 2019

Research from the St. Louis Fed Center for Household Financial Stability shows that the white working class—comprised of non-Hispanic whites without a bachelor’s degree—is on the decline in the U.S. In particular, the numbers and share of these American families are falling, while their financial and socioeconomic outcomes are deteriorating. Author Isabel Sawhill headlined the Center event at the St. Louis Fed that also featured Center Lead Economist William R. Emmons.

William R. Emmons

Center Lead Economist William Emmons explores potential reasons for the decline of the white working class.


Isabel V. Sawhill

The white working class forms the largest share of the working class featured in “The Forgotten Americans,” the title of a recent bestseller by Isabel Sawhill. She outlines how we might boost the paychecks of workers with the lowest pay.