“Economic conditions for children today are similar to those of a year ago—and much worse than they were in 2007. Millions of families with children have not yet regained ground lost during the recession.” write Julia B. Isaacs and Olivia Healy in The Recession’s Ongoing Impact on Children, 2012: Indicators of Children’s Economic Well-Being (Adapted choosen excerpts by Job Market Monitor to follow)
Indeed, there has not been much change in children’s economic well-being over the past year, but there has been a sharp deterioration compared with conditions before the recession. Compared to 2007, more children today live in families with an unemployed parent, families that turn to SNAP benefits to help pay their grocery bills, and/or families below the poverty threshold.
The impact of the recession on children can be hard to see. Some economic statistics ignore children, while others come out with a long time delay. This third annual issue brief by Urban Institute researchers Julia Isaacs and Olivia Healy provides nearly “real-time” tracking of the recession’s impact on children through three state-by-state measures of children’s economic wellbeing from 2007 through 2012: children with an unemployed parent, individuals receiving nutrition assistance benefits, and child poverty.
Children with an Unemployed Parent
An estimated 6.3 million children under the age of 18 are living in families with an unemployed parent during an average month of 2012, based on data through the first nine months of the year. While slightly below the 7 million figure for last year, this is still much higher than five years ago, before the recession. Further, 2.8 million of these children are living with a parent who has been looking for work for six months or longer. Children in California, Nevada, Rhode Island, and the District of Columbia are particularly likely to be living with parents who have been out of work for six months or longer. These children are at risk of financial hardship while their parents are
unemployed for such a long time. Even after unemployment ends, parental job loss can have negative effects on children, through effects on parents’ long-term earnings and on children’s academic success.
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