New data released today by the U.S. Census Bureau show that four years into the economic recovery, there has been some progress in the poverty rate as it fell from 15 percent in 2012 to 14.5 percent in 2013, with gains especially strong for children, whose poverty rates fell by nearly 2 percentage points. There was no statistically significant improvement, however, in the number of Americans living in poverty. The share of families struggling on the economic brink also remains elevated, with about one-third—33.9 percent—of Americans just one paycheck, sick child, or broken-down car away from poverty. Women, people of color, and young workers are among those hardest hit by the recession and the subsequent weak recovery.
The Middle Class Squeeze
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