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Idea of the Day: Census Data Show the Need for the American Jobs Act

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Yesterday the Census Bureau released the 2010 data on income, poverty, and health insurance in America. The numbers paint a bleak picture: American families continue to struggle with the long-lasting effects of the Great Recession. Family income has fallen to the lowest level since 1997 while the number of Americans living in poverty and without health insurance has risen to new highs—all at a time when millions continue to face foreclosure and job loss.

Yesterday’s data underscore the urgent need for Congress to pass the American Jobs Act, which would jump-start the economy and put millions of Americans back to work. As Congress seeks to pay for job-creation measures, the data tell an important story about the success of programs such as Social Security, unemployment insurance, and the earned income tax credit in keeping families out of poverty and preventing an even deeper rise in uninsurance rates. Rising need coupled with data on the efficacy of these and similar programs in preventing deeper hardship point toward pursuing a course in deficit reduction that creates jobs, protects struggling families, and does not further exacerbate rising poverty and inequality.

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To speak with our experts on this topic, please contact:

Print: Katie Peters (economy, education, poverty, Half in Ten Education Fund)
202.741.6285 or

Print: Anne Shoup (foreign policy and national security, energy, LGBT issues, health care, gun-violence prevention)
202.481.7146 or

Print: Crystal Patterson (immigration)
202.478.6350 or

Print: Madeline Meth (women's issues, Legal Progress, higher education)
202.741.6277 or

Spanish-language and ethnic media: Tanya Arditi
202.741.6258 or

TV: Lindsay Hamilton
202.483.2675 or

Radio: Chelsea Kiene
202.478.5328 or


This is part of a regular column: Idea of the Day

For more from the same column, click here