Muljoko, a 27-year-old cleaner who works in one of Jakarta’s gleaming office towers, has all the trappings of a newly minted member of the middle class. He owns a motorcycle, slings a Sony smartphone and has a futuristic-looking phone-watch strapped to his wrist that he uses to text friends during working hours.
He is infinitely better off than when he was growing up in an impoverished farming village in southern Sumatra. Like millions around the world over the past three decades, Muljoko has risen out of poverty and is now a proud member of Asia’s emerging urban middle class.
And yet, a closer look at his finances – and his aspirations – reveals that his place in the middle class is much more fragile than it seems.
Chosen excerpts by Job Market Monitor. Read the whole story at Fragile Middle: 2.8bn people on the brink – FT.com.