Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Tale of Two Cities, L.A. County 10 Years Later

L.A. County facing growing poverty, erosion of middle class, United Way report says
LA Times Blog – LA Now: February 9, 2010 by Ching-Ching Ni

Los Angeles County faces a poverty crisis and an erosion of the middle class that could worsen under the current economic downturn, according to a report by the United Way.

The county's poverty rate is now higher than the rest of the nation's, according to the report, which surveyed the county's economic situation in 2009. More than 1.47 million people, or 15% of the county's population, live on an income of $22,000 a year for a family of four, the report says. The national average is 13%.

Nearly four in 10 people in L.A. County suffer from extreme poverty, the report says; those people live on less than $5,400 a year for a single person or about $11,000 for a family of four.

The jobless rate had soared to 12.3% by early 2009, wiping out all job growth from the previous decade, the report states. Wages remained stagnant and did not keep up with housing costs.

The middle class also felt the pinch, the report says. Only 1% of salaried workers saw significant income growth, while the average worker’s pay fell nearly $2 an hour.

The United Way survey also said the ranks of the working poor swelled in 2009. Defined as families of four making less than $44,000 a year, that group in Los Angeles County is now 7.5% greater than the national average. READ MORE !

Tale of Two Cities-One Future has Statistics for: Education, Employment & Income, Homelessness & Housing, and Health.

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