Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Half In Ten Releases "Strategies to Cut Poverty and Expand Economic Growth" Report

Today, the Half In Ten Campaign released Restoring Shared Prosperity: Strategies to Cut Poverty and Expand Economic Growth. Highlighting the alarming number of people in poverty in the United States – the largest number ever recorded – the report captures the struggles that many Americans face and provides a critical analysis of the policies and practices that may ultimately lift millions of Americans out of poverty and provide opportunities for economic self-sufficiency.

The report illustrates several grim findings about the well-being of American families, including:

  • Poverty rates for households headed by a single mother drop from 40.7% to 14% when the mother has full-time, year-round employment.
  • African Americans and Latinos are more than five times more likely than whites to not have a checking or savings account, which are imperative to helping families build assets and economic stability.
  • Between 1979 and 2007, overall direct expenditures by the federal government on education, training, and employment services fell by half, from 8.8% to 4.3%.

A partnership between the Center for American Progress Action Fund, the Coalition on Human Needs, and the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, Half In Ten is dedicated building the political and public will necessary to cut the nation’s poverty in half in 10 years. In effort to meet that goal, the report identifies three critical action categories – creating quality jobs, strengthening families and communities, and promoting economic security and opportunity. Each of these action areas is imperative to the economic well-being of all Americans and has several key indicators, which can be used to gauge the nation’s efforts to cut poverty in half. For example, measuring the economic security of communities can be illustrated by the percentage of unemployed individuals receiving unemployment insurance or the percentage of a population with access to banking services.

The report devotes significant attention to the importance of investing in community-based efforts that bridge resources from various government agencies as a means to create good jobs and promote economic security. Acknowledging that low-income communities and residents are often marginalized from access to healthcare, quality schools, jobs and other imperative support services, the report emphasizes the need to continue investing in comprehensive, community-focused programs like Promise Neighborhoods and Community Schools.

For more information about Half in Ten and the report, please click here.

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