Sunday, July 22, 2012

US Poverty Rising to Highest Levels in Decades

  Hope Yen of the Associated Press has filed a report on poverty in the USA that includes interviews with statisticians and unemployment experts. Her article notes:
  • Census figures for 2011 will be released this fall in the critical weeks ahead of the November elections.
    • The official poverty rate was 5.1 percent in 2010 and is climbing as high as 15.7 percent. Any tiny increase in poverty would put poverty at the highest level since 1965.
    • Suburbs are seeing increases in poverty.
    • In the last 39 years, poverty never fell below a 1973 low of 11.1 percent.
    • the tidal wave of low-wage jobs is dragging us down and the wage problem is not going to go away anytime soon, a professional consultant notes.
    • Poverty will remain above the pre-recession level of 12.5 percent for many more years.
    • Part-time or underemployed workers, who saw a record 15 percent poverty in 2010, will see the statistic rise to a new high.
    • The Las Vegas suburbs have seen a particularly rapid increase in poverty from 9.7 percent in 2007 to 14.7 percent. Nevada has the nation’s highest unemployment rate.
    • Roughly 79 percent of Americans think the gap between rich and poor has grown in the past two decades.
    Summarized from:

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