Tuesday, January 15, 2013
Obama's America: More people went back to work in the United States in 2011, but many of them took lower-paying jobs, leading to an increase in the number of working poor families that year
In 2011, there were 200,000 more working poor families — those struggling with poverty even though the parents are employed — than in 2010, according to the Working Poor Project's report. All in all, almost one-third of working families struggle near the poverty rate and may not be able to meet basic needs. That's an increase from 28% in 2007 and 31% in 2010. Parents in these families most likely took service industry jobs — maids, restaurant servers, cashiers, janitors, cooks — that offer fewer hours, lower pay, fewer benefits, and less job security. A co-author of the report said that the results were somewhat surprising, considering Census officials said in 2012 that the poverty rate in the United States had stabilized. But what economic improvement we are seeing affects people in the United States disproportionately, he explains. The top 20% of Americans got 48% of all income, while the bottom 20% got less than 5%. About 10.4 million US families, or 47.5 million people, now live near the poverty rate.