Over the last few years the cost to either rent and/or buy a home has been increasing at a rapid rate. This has lead to at least 33% of Americans being what is known as “cost burdened”. But the news is even worse than that, as that latest data is from 2015. As we progress throughout calendar 2017, that percentage is bound to be even much worse.
High speed internet access, such as cable, fiber, or even DSL, is often critical to education as well as employment. Even though service is very important to people no matter where they live, the rural population is falling way behind in this access when compared to people that live in cities or the suburbs. In fact there is about a 35% difference between these too regions.
Temperatures are increasing across many parts of the country, in particular on the East coast and in the Midwest. Calendar year 2017 continues to bring large parts of the nation record temperatures. In order to get some relief, cooling centers provide residents a place to go to get out of the heat. They are available for anyone that wants to use it. People that are struggling to pay utilities often drop in, they help keep seniors cool, and the homeless can also drop by.
While the federal government budget for 2018 is still a work in progress, some of the initial proposals call for a big reduction in the various benefit programs. While many may be impacted by cutbacks, one of those that may have the largest effect on the vulnerable population include HUD vouchers. As without this benefit millions of more Americans could even potentially go homeless.
As we have reported on in the past, the automation of the workforce will continue, and probably at an accelerating pace starting in 2017 and continuing until the mid 2020s. Numerous studies show that retail jobs could be the next to go. In fact it is estimated that a higher proportion of retail jobs could be automated than manufacturing positions, with as many as 7.5 million jobs at risk per the Cornerstone Capital Group. Now that is a big number!