Oh You Poor Bastard: American Poverty Rate Jumps to 11 Year High
U.S. poverty rate hits 11-year high as recession bites (Reuters):
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. poverty rate hit its highest level in 11 years in 2008 as the worst recession since the Great Depression threw millions of Americans out of work, a government report showed on Thursday.
The Census Bureau said the poverty rate -- the percentage of people living in poverty -- jumped to 13.2 percent, the highest level since 1997, from 12.5 percent in 2007.
About 39.8 million Americans were living in poverty, up from 37.3 million in 2007.
Despite signs the economy was showing signs of crawling out the slump that started in December 2007, the poverty rate would rise gain this year and beyond 2010 as unemployment would stay elevated for a while, analysts and the government warned.
"Unfortunately, even with an improving economy, the higher unemployment rates during 2009 will almost surely lead to further declines in income and further increases in poverty," Rebecca Blank, Undersecretary for Economic Affairs at the Commerce Department told Senate's Joint Economic Committee.
The government defines poverty as an annual income of $22,025 for a family of four, $17,163 for a family of three and $14,051 for a family of two.
With unemployment rising, real median household income fell 3.6 percent to $50,303 in 2008, a 10-year low. The percentage decline was the biggest annual drop since 1991 and snapped a three year streak of annual income increases.
O rly? That's an interesting bit of news, Reuters. Has anyone informed Dr Bernanke?