Center for American Progress

Amidst Economic Recovery, Combating Persistent Poverty

Amidst Economic Recovery, Combating Persistent Poverty

These stagnant poverty and income numbers in the face of economic growth focused at the top should be a wake-up call for policymakers that greater action is needed.

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idea_bulbNew data released today show that the share of Americans with incomes below the poverty line stayed flat between 2013 and 2014 at 14.8 percent. Six years into the economic recovery, poverty and economic insecurity remain far more widespread than they should be—or than they need to be.

This is because policymakers have failed to make decisions—such as increasing the minimum wage and strengthening collective bargaining—that would help ensure that low- and middle-income families get their fair share of the gains from economic growth. Instead of addressing the real problem, congressional conservatives are pushing hard for policies that would make the situation far worse for families, including deep cuts to public programs that promote economic security and opportunity.

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