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Category Archives: Poverty

UK: State of the Nation 2014: Social Mobility and Child Poverty in Great Britain

“This is our last State of the Nation report prior to the 2015 UK General Election. As such it presents a verdict on the past and provides a window into the future. Our central conclusion is that the next Government will have to adopt radical new approaches if poverty is to be beaten, mobility improved and if Britain is to avoid becoming a permanently divided society. We define that as the 2020 challenge. We base this conclusion on our analysis of what has been achieved in tackling these issues over the last year and during the current Parliament. There has been progress on a number of fronts despite the difficult circumstances for doing so. Since our 2013 report, the British economy has bounced back sharply. Recovery is now strong, employment rates are close to record levels and unemployment has fallen rapidly. There have been big falls in the proportion of young adults who are not in full-time education or employment. The employment rate among lone parents with dependent children is at its highest ever level and the number of children in workless households has continued to fall to an all-time low. In addition, cost of living pressures have eased and the UK Government has taken some valuable steps to raise living standards, for example by freezing council tax and fuel duty. The really good news is that child poverty against the headline targets in the 2010 Child Poverty Act is at historically low levels: in 2012-13 relative child poverty was at its lowest level for almost 30 years… That such progress has taken place at a time of economic dislocation and fiscal consolidation is particularly pleasing. Equally it would be wrong to overstate what has been achieved. There are clear signs that the economic recovery is not being matched by a social recovery. There are 600,000 more children in working households who are living in absolute poverty after housing costs than there were in 2009-10. Too many of the jobs that are being created in the economic recovery are low-income and high-insecurity. They are a dead-end not a road to social progress. There are five million low-paid workers in the UK and, despite the success of the National Minimum Wage in eradicating extreme low pay, the proportion has barely changed in two decades. Worse still, only one in five workers who were low-paid in 2002 had managed to escape low pay by 2012. Too many poor workless parents have simply gone on to become poor working parents. Average earnings have fallen significantly since the recession and it will be at least 2018 before they are back to pre-recession levels. Young people have been the principal losers. Their wages are falling and, relative to a decade ago, their job prospects are diminishing. Youth unemployment is still higher than before the recession and by the time of the next election around half a million young people will still be without work.”

Poverty Rate Declines, Number of Poor Unchanged, Based on Supplemental Measure of Poverty

“The nation’s poverty rate was 15.5 percent in 2013, down from 16.0 percent in 2012, according to the supplemental poverty measure released today by the U.S. Census Bureau. The 2013 rate was higher than the official measure of 14.5 percent, but similarly declined from the corresponding rate in 2012. Meanwhile, 48.7 million were below the povertyContinue Reading

Global Monitoring Report 2014/2015: Ending Poverty and Sharing Prosperity

“The Global Monitoring Report 2014/2015 will, for the first time, monitor and report on the World Bank Group’s twin goals of ending extreme poverty by 2030 and boosting shared prosperity, while continuing to track progress toward the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). This Global Monitoring Report examines how a select set of policies in the areasContinue Reading

The New Face of Hunger in America

National Geographic: “Millions of working Americans don’t know where their next meal is coming from. We sent three photographers to explore hunger in three very different parts of the United States, each giving different faces to the same statistic: One-sixth of Americans don’t have enough food to eat…In the United States more than half of hungry householdsContinue Reading

Wealth Levels, Wealth Inequality, and the Great Recession

“In a new Recession Brief for the Recession Trends initiative, Fabian T. Pfeffer (University of Michigan), RSF president Sheldon Danziger, and Robert F. Schoeni (University of Michigan) explore the extent to which the Great Recession altered the level and distribution of American families’ wealth, looking at the period between 2007 and 2013. While the Recession had aContinue Reading

Why “Can’t Make Ends Meet” Trumps “Poverty”

Moyers & company: “This week, the Center for Community Change (CCC) released new research that details the way low-income Americans think and talk about living on the edge. It found that the language being used by policymakers and others to describe them is turning off the very people it is supposed to help. The project surveyed over 1,700Continue Reading

Food waste reduction could help feed world’s starving – BBC

Caroline Hepker – “Some 40% of all the food produced in the United States is never eaten. In Europe, we throw away 100 million tonnes of food every year. And yet there are one billion starving people in the world. The FAO’s best guess is that one third of all food produced for human consumption is lostContinue Reading

Utah Is on Track to End Homelessness by 2015 With This One Simple Idea

Via NationSwell – “Utah has reduced its rate of chronic homelessness by 74 percent over the past eight years, moving 2000 people off the street and putting the state on track to eradicate homelessness altogether by 2015. How’d they do it? The state is giving away apartments, no strings attached. In 2005, Utah calculated the annualContinue Reading