“While the U.S. economy has shown some signs of recovery—the U.S. unemployment rate has dipped below 8 percent from 10 percent three years ago—the economic
outlook for many working families is bleak” write Brandon Roberts, Deborah Povich and Mark Mather New in LOW-INCOME WORKING FAMILIES: THE GROWING ECONOMIC GAP (Adapted choosen excerpts by Job Market Monitor to follow)
Data from the U.S. Census Bureau show that the number of lowincome working families in the United States increased to 10.4 million in 2011, up from 10.2 million a year earlier.
This means that nearly one third of all working families—32 percent—may not have enough money to meet basic needs. At the same time, inequality among working families is increasing, as higher-income families receive a larger share of income relative to families at the bottom of the income distribution. The total number of people in low-income working families now stands at 47.5 million and could reach 50 million in the next few years. That’s roughly equivalent to the total number of people living in California, Oregon, and Washington combined. Although many people are returning to work, they are often taking jobs with lower wages and less job security, compared with the middle-class jobs they held before the economic downturn.
These low-wage jobs typically offer limited opportunities for advancement, few (if
any) benefits, and create challenges for parents trying to balance work and family responsibilities.
Key Findings for 2011
- The number of low-income working families in the United States increased to 10.4 million in 2011, up from 10.2 million in 2010.
- The total number of people in low-income working families now stands at 47.5 million.
- In 2011, there were 23.5 million children in low-income working families.
- There are 10 states, spread across the U.S., where the share of low-income working families increased by 5 percentage points or more between 2007 and 2011.
- The richest 20 percent of working families took home nearly half (48 percent) of all income, while those in the bottom 20 percent received less than 5 percent of the economic pie.
Full Report @:
Officially, the U.S. poverty rate in 2011 was 15 percent exactly, a 0.1 point reduction from 2010. But as I pointed out when that number was released in September, that figure doesn’t mean a whole lot. The official poverty threshold is the amount of money a family of three would have to make to spend … Continue reading »
Most parents with below-poverty incomes who are raising minor children are married. according to Married … without Means Poverty and Economic Hardship Among Married Americans by Shawn Fremstad The failure of many policy elites to recognize the extent of marital poverty covers up the profound economic struggles of millions of married parents. The paper concludes that to reduce …Continue reading »
The highest minimum wage in the nation is set to rise again in 2013, as San Francisco’s low-end compensation rate will increase from $10.24 to $10.55 per hour. In 2003, voters approved a local ordinance tying the minimum wage to the regional rate of inflation in San Francisco, Oakland and San Jose. Set at $8.50 … Continue reading »
Across the country, tens of thousands of underemployed and jobless young people, many with college credits or work histories, are struggling to house themselves in the wake of the recession, which has left workers between the ages of 18 and 24 with the highest unemployment rate of all adults. Those who can move back home … Continue reading »
What parts of the global income distribution registered the largest gains between 1988 and 2008? As figure below shows, it is indeed among the very top of the income distribution and among the emerging global middle class, which includes more than a third of the world’s population, that we find most significant increases in per … Continue reading »
“Over the last two decades, high – and, in some countries, rising – rates of low-wage work have emerged as a major political concern” writes John Schmitt in Low-wage Lessons (Choosen excerpts by Job Market Monitor to follow) According to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), in 2009, about one-fourth of U.S. workers were in low-wage … Continue reading »