Household Economics

Although childhood poverty rates declined throughout most of the 1990s, they have been on the rise again.  Between 2008 and 2009, child poverty jumped 10 percent – the single biggest year-over-year jump in the data’s history.  And from 2000-2009, rates increased in 38 states.  That means 1 in 5 children now live in poverty.

Although the wage gap between men and women has narrowed slightly in recent years, the difference between a woman’s paycheck and a man’s is still significant. The ratio of women’s to men’s median weekly earnings (full-time wage and salary workers) in 2010 was 81.2.  That means that a woman who earns a weekly wage that is statistically in the middle of all weekly wages earned 81.2% of what the same statistical middle-of-the-road male earned last year. The median weekly earnings for a female were $669, while a male earned $824.

The number of poor children has been on the rise for the past 10 years, although those increases vary across state and racial and ethnic lines.  Higher childhood poverty rates mean bigger costs to states, including future health and criminal justice expenses.  

Chapter 10 of the 2011 Book of the States contains the following articles and tables:

The Great Recession hit rural areas hard as median incomes fell, poverty rates increased and the metropolitan-nonmetropolitan wage gap continued to grow.  In addition, nonmetro areas continue to lose young adults through out-migration, and rural populations are increasingly relying more heavily on transfer payments due to rising medical costs and an aging population.

Approximately 40 million Americans received monthly food stamp benefits in 2010, up from about 26 million in 2007. Increased unemployment during the recession was a major contributing factor to the growth in the number of Americans depending upon SNAP. 
 

The Great Recession brought an increased number of bankruptcy filings in states across the nation. Nevada, Michigan and Illinois were consistently among states with the highest bankruptcy rates, while Montana and Wyoming were consistently among states with the lowest bankruptcy rates. Every state saw an increase in filings from 2007, when the recession officially began, through 2010.

In 2005, the Uniform Law Commissioners promulgated the Uniform Debt-Management Services Act (UDMSA). It provides the states with a comprehensive Act governing these services that will mean national administration of debt counseling and management in a fair and effective way. UDMSA may be divided into three basic parts: registration of services, service-debtor agreements, and enforcement.

E-newsletter Issue #62/January 6, 2011

As states are pulling out of the Great Recession, they face a multitude of challenges—creating jobs, addressing poverty, repaying the federal government loans from the unemployment insurance trust funds and, generally, doing more with less money.

Fiscal challenges are the Hot Topic of the January/February issue of Capitol Ideas, the bimonthly magazine of...

The national recession didn’t strike every part of the United States with equal force, and it appears the Great Lakes region got the worst of the severe economic blow.

Pages