Report: 4 in 5 Americans at risk of poverty, joblessness, reliance on welfare

Posted on 29 July, 2013 by clyde

According to the four in five adults in America have dealt with unemployment, risked falling into poverty or relied on welfare for portions of their life, The Associated Press reports.

As President Obama pivots to discussions about the economy, the AP’s report offers a dreary picture of the current personal economy many in America experience.

The AP reports that the struggle is largely due to globalization, the widening gap between the rich and poor and the declining availability of good-paying manufacturing jobs.

The findings include an increase in economic insecurity — or a period of joblessness, reliance on welfare for a year or income below 150 percent of the poverty line — among whites, narrowing the racial disparity between whites and minorities when it comes to the likelihood of ending up in poverty, with 76 percent of white adults experiencing economic insecurity by the time they reach the age of 60.

Further, while the poverty rate for blacks and Hispanics are three times that of whites, by straight numbers, with 19 million whites in poverty, whites make up more than 41 percent of the population in poverty — nearly twice the number of black Americans in poverty, the AP reports.

To be sure, nonwhites are still more likely to experience economic insecurity, at 90 percent, compared to 76 percent for whites. Across all races, the risk of economic insecurity is 79 percent. According to the data trends, however, by 2030, nearly 85 percent of working-age adults will deal with economic insecurity, the AP reports.

The findings, reported by The Associated Press, were calculated by Mark Rank, a professor at Washington University in St. Louis and include additional analysis by experts and Census data. The Oxford University Press is set to publish Rank’s analysis next year.

“Poverty is no longer an issue of ‘them,’ it’s an issue of ‘us,’” Rank told the AP. “Only when poverty is thought of as a mainstream event, rather than a fringe experience that just affects blacks and Hispanics, can we really begin to build broader support for programs that lift people in need.”