As the middle class in America continues to be slowly wiped out, the number of working poor continues to increase. Today, nearly one out of every three families in the United States is considered to be “low income”. Millions of American families are finding that they can barely make it from month to month even with both parents working as hard as they possibly can. Blue collar American workers from coast to coast are having their wages decreased at a time when it seems like the cost of virtually every monthly bill is going up. Unfortunately, there is every indication that things are only going to get worse and that average American families are going to be financially squeezed even more in the months and years to come.
The Working Poor Families Project has just released their policy brief for the winter of 2010-11. What they have discovered is that the number of working poor in the United States is higher than they have ever seen it before and it continues to increase at a staggering pace. The following are some of the key findings for 2009 that were pulled right out of their report….
* There were more than 10 million low-income working families in the United States, an increase of nearly a quarter million from the previous year.
* Forty-five million people, including 22 million children, lived in low-income working families, an increase of 1.7 million people from 2008.
* Forty-three percent of working families with at least one minority parent were low income, nearly twice the proportion of white working families (22 percent).
* Income inequality continued to grow with the richest 20 percent of working families taking home 47 percent of all income and earning 10 times that of low-income working families.
* More than half of the U.S. labor force (55 percent) has “suffered a spell of unemployment, a cut in pay, a reduction in hours or have become involuntary part-time workers” since the recession began in December 2007.