Hajnoczi Credit: Kiraly Hajnoczi is a midtown bartender./amNY

New Yorkers struggling to climb the economic ladder are realizing it's a tougher slog now than ever before.

That's because despite glimmers of an improving U.S. economy, researchers have found that income inequality still polarizes the Big Apple. A Fiscal Policy Institute report in 2010 found that Wall Street earners saw their pay double from 1990 to 2007, while the median hourly wage grew by less than 1%.

amNewYork spoke with five professionals of varying incomes to get their take on the economy and whether they're living comfortably in the city:

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