Poverty Rate Increases To Highest In Decade

Sep 26, 09 Poverty Rate Increases To Highest In Decade
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While this may not come as surprise to many, the poverty rate skyrocketed in 2008.  Last year’s poverty rate, which is approximately $22,000 for a family of four, was 13.2%.  This is the highest rate in the last twelve years.

It is unfortunate that the plight of the least financially solvent among us has gone unnoticed.  Since many people were already working poor or teetering on the edge of being poor, it did not take much to push these vulnerable individuals and families over the cliff.

High unemployment rates account for a majority of the newly poor.  Yet healthcare costs, foreclosures, and bankruptcies have all played a large factor in eradicating the income gains of the last few years.

Median family incomes have dropped as well.  Falling by $2,000, median family income is now approximately $50,000.  Adjusted for inflation, these numbers are lower than they were a decade ago.  Everyone has suffered tremendous losses since the recession began.

However, those employed in the service industry and other traditionally low-paying job sectors, will have a much tougher time getting back on their feet in a shifting economic climate.

These numbers are a stark reminder that the recession has taken a tremendous toll on the most exposed members of society.  While the current safety net may be helping keep some of these families afloat, many analysts expect 2009’s numbers to be much worse.

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