New data released by the Census Bureau shows that nearly one in six Americans now lives below the federal poverty line – earning less than $22,314 a year for a family of four. Not only did the poverty level jump, but household income dropped below 1997 levels. The only group to have significant income gains were the richest one percent of Americans.
Children and minorities are also getting hit hard by the jobs crisis. The poverty rate for children climbed to 22 percent, with the rate for black children at 40 percent and more than 30 percent for Hispanic children.
“I’ve got people living in the woods, I’ve got people that are sharing rooms,” Rob Paxton, director of a day shelter for the homeless, told the Washington Post.