For decades, middle class families in New Jersey and across the nation have been struggling to make ends meet, but things could get even more difficult in the not-too-distant future.

Flickr user: William Hook

"We've maintained our standard of living by having cheap labor around the world, which lead to cheap consumer electronics, clothing, apparel and many other items. But going forward, those workers those workers aren't going to be so cheap - they are going to be joining the middle class, their wages will rise and that will certainly put an upward pressure on a whole range of consumer items," says Rutgers economist James Hughes.

He points out these new members of the middle class are going to be competing "for the same consumer goods that we have, so demand will increase, and unless supplies increase dramatically, we'll see price rises."

Hughes adds if the middle class in Jersey wants to keep pace, "the only way is to create very sophisticated high paying jobs that will enable the middle class to maintain its status."