Each day it becomes harder for all but the highest earners to get by in this country. Average American workers are beset by lack of opportunity and the fight for livable wages, along with nagging questions about their relevance. Will their skills remain viable in a changing economy with more automation? Will their jobs be sent overseas? Small business owners, meanwhile, face their own challenges. And the labor unions that once hovered over it all are increasingly less powerful.This beat is an exploration of those shifts, with an emphasis on what it all means for our workforce and for families trying to put food on the table. Katie Johnston previously wrote about travel and tourism for the Globe and worked as the paper’s music and entertainment editor.