CSG Midwest logo

The Illinois General Assembly passed first-of-its-kind legislation in December designed to help more workers save for retirement.

On Election Day 2014, voters in four states - Alaska, Arkansas, Nebraska and South Dakota - will decide if minimum wage workers in their state should get a raise. If voters in all four states approve a wage increase, at least 57,000 minimum wage earners would be affected and would join workers in 16 other states who are scheduled to see a wage increase on Jan. 1, 2015.

The U.S. Census Bureau announced today that the national poverty rate fell from 15.0 percent in 2012 to 14.5 percent in 2013 - the first time the rate has fallen in eight years. The poverty rate for children under 18 also declined in 2013 for the first time since 2000 - from 21.8 percent in 2012 to 19.9 percent in 2013.

Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services’ (S&P) recent report examined the effects of the widening income gap in the US and concluded that rising share of income to the wealthiest Americans has resulted in less tax revenue for the states. The implications of rising income inequality for the states vary.  

Researchers at the Center for American Progress estimate that hunger costs the U.S. at least $167.5 billion every year based on a combination of lost economic productivity, increased education expenses, avoidable health care costs, and the cost of charity. 

Food insecurity – the lack of consistent access to adequate food – affects millions of children and adults every year in the U.S., according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Almost 15 percent of all households in 2013 were food insecure, or 49.1 million Americans. On average, from 2003-2011, around one in ten households that include children were food insecure, ranging from a low of 5.1 percent in New Hampshire to a high of 12.8 percent in Texas.

CSG Midwest logo
Mirroring a national trend, many more people in the Midwest are living in concentrated areas of poverty — a demographic trend that carries with it implications related to everything from crime and health, to economic and educational opportunity.

The federal minimum wage is $7.25 per hour. In 2012, an estimated 3.6 million people—or 4.7 percent of all hourly paid workers—made at or below the federal minimum wage. The young and the undereducated are more likely to earn the minimum wage, although those older than 25 make up a significant portion of the people earning at or below the minimum wage.

As of Jan. 1, 2014, the minimum wage increased over 2013 rates in 13 states—Arizona, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Missouri, Montana, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont and Washington. Increases ranged from 10 cents an hour in Arizona, Montana and Ohio, to $1 an hour in California and New Jersey. California’s minimum wage will increase from $8 an hour to $9 an hour later in July.

Since President Lyndon B. Johnson declared a war on poverty in 1964, the rate of young children in poverty has only slightly decreased.
“It is the case that children are more often poor...

Pages