U.S. Poverty Was Reduced During 2018 by Full-Time Employment
Sept. 11, 2019 (EIRNS)—The U.S. Census Bureau, in its annual report on “Poverty and Health Insurance Rates in the United States,” reported that in 2018 the poverty rate fell to 11.7%, half a percent lower than the prior year and the lowest rate since 2001 when the unfortunate Bush-Obama presidencies began. Some 38.1 million Americans were poor (below the equivalent of $25,400/year for a family of four), and this was 1.4 million fewer than in 2017.
This reduction of poverty, as Census officials stressed, was dramatically dependent on a rise in full-time, year-round jobs. Full-time employment increased by 2.2 million throughout 2018, at the expense of part-time employment. And the poverty sub-rates tell the story: for full-time employed, the poverty rate is 2.3%; for part-timers, 16.8%; for those who do not work it is 29.8%.
One Census official said “We have found quite a big increase in full-time, year-round work that would tend to bring up incomes for working people.”
The report found that the average real income of Americans rose. But with income inequality continuing to increase, the median household income of $63,000 was “right where it was in 1999” when adjusted for inflation, which itself is officially understated.
This development over the course of late 2017 and 2018 has a continuing political and cultural effect in 2019. But it is a look back, and the direction of the economy—particularly the real industrial and physical economy—has reversed during 2019.