On July 11th, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a version of the farm bill that eliminates all nutritional aid to hungry Americans in need, which is provided mainly through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP. Not since 1973 has Congress separated subsidies to farmers from individuals in need of food security. At a moment when Congress is seeking substantial changes to SNAP, it is important to ask: Who exactly is affected by changes?
Over the past decade, U.S. women have increasingly taken up the “breadwinner” role in their homes. This shift hasbeen well documented across different groups of women.Today close to 40% of women with children, includingsingle working mothers, are either the sole breadwinner orbring home as much or more than their workingspouse/partner.
Authors: Karen White, Linda Houser, and Elizabeth Nisbet
Date Published: January 2013
New Jersey took a strong step forward in May 2008, when Family Leave Insurance (FLI) was signed into law. The legislation provides eligible workers up to six weeks of partial wage replacement when they need to take time to bond with a new child or care for a seriously ill family member.
A recent New York Timeseditorial states that under the Obama administration the homeless population has remained steady. The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 which provided $840 billion as stimulus monies included a $1.5 billion program that providing housing, rental assistance and temporary aid to people who had suddenly become homeless. But the editorial also notes, while conditions might be improving for homeless individuals, things are bleak for families with children. The National Women’s Law Center reported findings that in 2010, over 40 percent of single-mother families were poor; African-American and Hispanic single-mothers families living in poverty were 48 percent and 50 percent respectively.
Over the last decade, working women’s access to and participation in employer-sponsored retirement plans have improved relative to men. In fact, from 1998 to 2009, women surpassed men in their likelihood of working for an employer that offered a pension plan—largely because the proportion of men covered by a plan declined. Furthermore, as employers have continued to terminate their defined benefit plans and switch to defined contribution plans, the proportion of women who worked for employers that offered a defined contribution plan increased. Women’s higher rates of pension coverage may be due to the fact that they are more likely to work in the public and nonprofit sectors and industries that offer coverage, such as health and education.
The ranks of America’s poor are on track to climb to levels unseen in nearly half a century, erasing gains from the war on poverty in the 1960s amid a weak economy and fraying government safety net.
Census figures for 2011 will be released this fall in the critical weeks ahead of the November elections.
The Associated Press surveyed more than a dozen economists, think tanks and academics, both nonpartisan and those with known liberal or conservative leanings, and found a broad consensus: The official poverty rate will rise from 15.1 percent in 2010, climbing as high as 15.7 percent. Several predicted a more modest gain, but even a 0.1 percentage point increase would put poverty at the highest level since 1965.
Poverty is spreading at record levels across many groups, from underemployed workers and suburban families to the poorest poor. More discouraged workers are giving up on the job market, leaving them vulnerable as unemployment aid begins to run out. Suburbs are seeing increases in poverty, including in such political battlegrounds as Colorado, Florida and Nevada, where voters are coping with a new norm of living hand to mouth.