American poverty grows as elite wealth grows

The number of Americans in poverty rose last year to 46.5 million, according to US Census data, despite a stock market recovery.  http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-24139251   The figure edged up from 46.2 million in 2011, meaning the national poverty rate remains unchanged at 15%.

It is the sixth year in a row that the rate failed to improve, despite the US being out of recession since 2009.

The poverty threshold last year was income below $23,492 (£14,700) for a family of four.

Some analysts blame the lingering poverty on changing employment patterns and tightening of the social safety net.

Many jobs added since the recession have been in the lower-paying services industry, including retail and restaurants.

The bureau also estimated about 16.1 million children and 3.9 million people aged 65 years and older were living in  poverty last year.
John Iceland, a former Census Bureau expert on poverty and a sociologist at Penn State University, called the 2012 number “discouraging”.

“This lack of progress in poverty indicates that these small improvements in the economy are not yet being equally shared by all,”

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