At Risk: America's Poor During and After the Great Recession

At Risk: America's Poor During and After the Great Recession

In the aftermath of the Great Recession, the ranks of the long-term unemployed have swelled to more than four million, the highest since the number first was tracked in 1948, a report from the Indiana University School of Public and Environmental Affairs finds. The report, At Risk: America's Poor During and After the Great Recession (40 pages, PDF), examined trends by state, age, race/ethnicity, family structure, education, and employment and found that the proportion of U.S. residents living in poverty rose by 27 percent — to 46.2 million — between 2006 and 2010, with higher rates of increase among Latinos/Hispanics and African Americans, children, female-headed households, and lower-skilled adults between the ages of 18 and 34. The report also notes that while safety-net programs such as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, Medicaid, and unemployment insurance have responded effectively to the increase, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families and federal housing assistance have not. And given the likelihood of additional cuts in safety-net programs, the authors write, the working poor, the near poor, and the long-term unemployed "new poor" are at substantial risk for at least the next five years.