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Danger! Falling middle-class incomes

Incomes for 90% of Americans barely budging since the '80s, and fallen over the last few years. Here are some who have seen their earnings drop.

1 of 6
Gay Pinder
Hometown: Baltimore, Md.

During the recession, I was let go from my job at a non-profit in Washington, DC. After being out of work for 19 months, I got a job as a media relations specialist for my alma mater, Towson University. Now, I make $15,000 a year less.

I like this job much better than the one that paid more, but that said, there are trade offs. The "American Dream" of being a homeowner has become the quintessential American struggle. I'm a single woman and I own my home. But it was purchased with a certain salary, and I still have to pay the mortgage.

My savings are gone, my retirement I've gone through. I took part-time jobs over the Christmas season, working at Macy's for $7 an hour.

I consider myself lucky to have a job at all, but come on, this is ridiculous. I have a master's degree. I'm an experienced worker. This isn't how it's supposed to be.

NEXT: John Riley
Last updated February 18 2011: 8:13 AM ET
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