Wall Street Journal: Cash Crunch, for Many, Is a Monthly Woe

American households across the wealth spectrum increasingly face sharp swings in monthly income and spending, a finding that underscores the unpredictability that has become a hallmark of the U.S. labor market since the recession.

A J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. analysis of 100,000 of the bank’s customers found a large and diverse share of Americans with incomes that vary by more than 30% from one month to the next. The study, set for release Wednesday, also found the bottom 80% of households by income lack sufficient savings to cover the type of volatility observed in income and spending.

Income volatility “is not just a poor person’s problem,” said Diana Farrell, chief executive of the J.P. Morgan Chase Institute, a new group formed by the bank. “This is a middle-income problem.”

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