Good News and Bad News
Figures from the U.S. Census Bureau were released yesterday, leaving us with good news and bad news. First, the good news: Across America, median household incomes rose by 1.3 percent between 2006 and 2007, creating a median income of $50,740. The great state of Missouri saw a 1-percent increase, moving our median household income to $45,114.
The bad news: Poverty rates increased drastically nationwide. Between 2001 and 2007, Missouri saw its overall poverty rate jump from 11.7 to 13 percent. More alarming is the 2.1-percent increase in Missouri’s child poverty rate, which means an estimated 240,671 kids are living below the poverty level.
With the price of food and gas going through the roof, it may well get worse. The city of St. Louis alone has seen its highest unemployment rates in 16 years. “Working class families are at a tipping point,” an observation that the St. Louis Post-Dispatch attributes to an area United Way researcher. There are many place we can point fingers, such as the poor economic climate and recent cutbacks in various plants. Nonetheless, something needs to be done.