Monday, July 27, 2015

AMERICA - Kids in Poverty

"Why minority kids are being left behind by the economic recovery" PBS NewsHour 7/21/2015


SUMMARY:  Child poverty is worse now than it was before the Great Recession, despite strides toward economic recovery.  That's according to a new report by the Annie E. Casey Foundation, which found that rates were most severe for African-American and Native American children.  Gwen Ifill talks to Annie E. Casey Foundation President Patrick McCarthy and Mark Hugo Lopez of the Pew Research Center.

GWEN IFILL (NewsHour):  The economy may be recovering from the great recession, but a new report finds many have been left behind, especially children.

The findings from the Annie E. Casey Foundation show 22 percent of U.S. children were living in poverty in 2013.  That’s compared to 18 percent in 2008.  Those rates were nearly double among African-American and Native American children, with problems most severe in the South and the Southwest.

Some of those conclusions also echo a recent analysis by the Pew Research Center.  It found black children were almost four times as likely as white children to be living in poverty.

Joining me to discuss the cause and the effect of these sobering numbers are Patrick McCarthy, the president and CEO of the Annie E. Casey Foundation, and Mark Hugo Lopez of the Pew Research Center.

Mark Hugo Lopez, why these populations in particular, why are they suffering?

MARK HUGO LOPEZ, Pew Research Center:  Well, when you take a look at unemployment rates particularly, you will see that, for African-Americans in June, unemployment was 9.6 percent.  For whites, it was 4.5 percent.

That’s almost — the unemployment rate for African-Americans is almost double that of whites.  And that’s an important part of explaining the story of why many children live in poverty.  Many of their parents either are not fully employed, are unemployed or can’t find work.

GWEN IFILL:  Now, Patrick McCarthy, some people might think this wasn’t surprising.  We know in some ways that minority populations are at a disadvantage, yet when you look at the numbers overall, in fact, fewer white children are in poverty.

Why are the numbers heading in the wrong — opposite directions?

PATRICK MCCARTHY, President, Annie E. Casey Foundation:  Well, I think there’s a number of reasons that we have to look at here.

The economy, as it’s recovered, certainly has produced jobs for some populations, but we know that the recession took out a lot of lower-skilled jobs and low-wage jobs that had been held by African-Americans and Latinos.

And as the economy has recovered, although a lot of the jobs that had been restored are low-wage jobs, the folks who lost their jobs, who have had kind of a precarious grasp of those jobs, are having a much harder time getting employed again.

No comments: