MIAMI (CBS4) – What does it take these days to be in the middle class?

A new Pew Research Center study shows a dramatic change over the past two decades in what Americans think.

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In 1991, a similar poll found most Americans, 70%, chose home ownership as the most important factor to determine if you were a member of the middle class.

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But the new survey shows almost nine in ten Americans believe having a secure job is by far the most important requirement.  In second place was health insurance, something most Americans get through their jobs, easily beating out home ownership and having a college education.

The radical change in thinking shows how most Americans just assumed a secure job was a given twenty years ago.

Today, unfortunately, job insecurity is the norm, seeing that the share of the population employed has dropped to a level not seen in thirty years.

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The survey also showed just how much Americans are struggling to make ends meet, with increased stress, poorer health and a lower level of happiness.  A sad sign of the times.