What’s working class, anyway? Gallup polls on jobs

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     A worker checks paperwork on the monkey board of a Cabot Oil & Gas drill rig in Kingsley, Pa.  (Lindsay Lazarski/WHYY)

    A worker checks paperwork on the monkey board of a Cabot Oil & Gas drill rig in Kingsley, Pa. (Lindsay Lazarski/WHYY)

    NewsWorks Tonight host Dave Heller sits down for his weekly conversation with Gallup’s Frank Newport to talk about trends in U.S. opinion.

    Trump talked about jobs in his speech Tuesday night.  We can look at what workers are telling us about their companies’ hiring — in the largest metro areas in the country. 

    Salt Lake City, Utah is the place to be.  Workers there are more likely to say their companies are hiring and less likely to say their companies are laying people off than any other large metro in the nation. Hartford, Connecticut is where you do not want to be.  Surprisingly, the formerly boom town of Houston, Texas last year was near the bottom of the list as the oil business hit a slump.

    The Philadelphia metro was below the median on this measure.  To be precise, we interviewed 6,771 workers living in the Philadelphia Metro last year: 45 percent of workers in the Philadelphia area said their companies were hiring and adding more workers; 38 percent said their companies were static and only 11 percent said their companies were letting people go.

    What is your social class?  New analysis gets into detail on what determines which class people identify with — lower, working, middle, upper middle, and upper.  Although there is a lot of talk about the working class these days, less than half of Americans, at any income level, choose that label for themselves.  And even those making under $20,000 a year are reluctant to choose the label “lower class.” 

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