WASHINGTON (AP) - Four out of five U.S. adults struggle with joblessness, near poverty or reliance on welfare for at least parts of their lives, according to survey data exclusive to The Associated Press.
The findings point to an increasingly globalized U.S. economy, the widening gap between rich and poor and loss of good-paying manufacturing jobs as reasons for the trend.
Hardship is particularly on the rise among whites, based on several measures. Pessimism among that racial group about their families' economic futures has climbed to the highest point since at least 1987. In the most recent AP-GfK poll, 63 percent of whites called the economy "poor."
While racial and ethnic minorities are more likely to live in poverty, census data show race disparities in the poverty rate have narrowed substantially since the 1970s.
And a new economic gauge being published next year by the Oxford University Press shows economic insecurity engulfs more than 76 percent of white adults by the time they turn 60.
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