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ABSTRACT. In this paper I argue for a new set of pathways to the middle class in the U.S. for those currently left behind in our economy. First I analyze the levels of income and education needed to achieve middle-class status in America, why too few Americans obtain such education levels, and the trends in middle-wage occupational growth where such education would be valued. Then I outline a set of policy goals that would help millions more Americans enter the middle class, along with specific proposals to help get us there.
JEL codes: D83; E24; J24; O15

Keywords: middle class; the U.S.; knowledge economy; education; occupational growth

How to cite: Holzer, Harry J. (2017), “Building a New Middle Class in the Knowledge Economy,” Psychosociological Issues in Human Resource Management 5(2): 96–126.

Received 12 April 2017 • Received in revised form 23 May 2017
Accepted 23 May 2017 • Available online 24 May 2017

doi:10.22381/PIHRM5220174

HARRY J. HOLZER
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McCourt School of Public Policy,
Georgetown University

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