September 14, 2011

1 Out Of Every 4 Blacks/ Latinos Living In Poverty In USA

More than 3 million New Yorkers are among the 46.2 million Americans trapped by the tanking economy as the U.S. poverty rate hit its highest level in 27 years.
The stunning 15.1% figure for 2010 meant one in every six Americans - and New Yorkers - were living below the poverty line, the U.S. Census Bureau announced Tuesday.
The number, up from 14.3% in 2009, was the highest since 1983 as U.S. household income dropped by an average 2% last year.
"It's disappointing that the poverty rate is going up," Mayor Bloomberg said. "We have got to make sure that globalization and technological automation doesn't take away the ability of people to be self-sufficient."
The depressing numbers add up to trouble for President Obama, whose 2012 reelection campaign will undoubtedly center on his handling of the nation's fiscal nightmare.
The President is pushing for a $450 billion job creation package to get the economy back on track as the national unemployment rate stays above 9%.
The amount of people living in poverty was the highest since the bureau began tracking the figures 52 years ago - and the third straight year the number increased.
"Rather than sit around and complain about it," added Bloomberg, "government's got to do something about it."
In New York State, more than 3 million people are living beneath the federal poverty line: $11,130 per year for one person, $14,218 for couples, $17,374 for a family of three and $22,314 for a family of four.
The New York number was 16% living in poverty, a jump from 15.8% in 2009 and 14.2% in 2008.
"Families are struggling to put food on the table, and they don't have the purchasing power to help the economy recover," said Isabel Sawhill, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution.
Working-age Americans - people ages 18-64 - were battling to keep their heads above water. The number living in poverty increased to 13.7%, up from 12.9%, the figures showed.
Since 2007, the number of men pulling down full-time, year-round paychecks dropped by 6.6 million - and the corresponding number of women fell by 2.8 million.
The U.S. poverty rate between 2007-10 grew more than any three-year stretch since the early 1980s, a further indication of the long and lingering effects of the recession.
The grim economic situation also led to an increase in doubling up - households with an extra resident 18 or older, many moving back with their parents.
By the spring of this year, 5.9 million people ages 25-34 were sharing space with parents, compared with 4.7 million prior to the recession - an increase of 2.4%.
There was even more bad news for the American worker and his family - the average household income was $49,445 - a 2.3% decline.
For blacks, the number of people living in poverty increased from 25.8% to 27.4% in 2010 while the number of Hispanics jumped from 25.3% to 26.6%.
Child poverty was up as well, from 20.7% to 22%, the statistics showed.
The spiraling numbers could have been worse if not for government safety-net programs that extended unemployment benefits after layoffs.
The extra cash spared about 3.2 million people from falling into poverty, while Social Security kept more than 20 million Americans afloat, the Census Bureau noted.
"If these programs are cut back in the future, poverty rates are likely to rise even more," warned public policy professor Bruce Meyer.