Most American households are facing financial challenges, despite a doubling of the stock market and a near halving of the unemployment rate since the Great Recession, the Pew Charitable Trusts said in a report issued Thursday.

“Many families, even those with relatively high incomes, are walking a financial tightrope, and have little, if any, cushion to absorb an unexpected financial emergency,” said the Washington, D.C.-based think tank.

Pew noted the unease comes in part because American workers, who saw their wages increase 22 percent from 1979 to 1999, have hit a roadblock since then, with pay rising just 2 percent.

Their insecurity is worsened because nearly half of families have seen their incomes increase or decrease by a quarter in a two year period since 1979, according to the study.

Over half of households would drain their savings if faced with unemployment even for a month, Pew reported.

The bottom fifth of families had the same amount of assets it had 25 years ago.