It’s going to be a cold winter for the poor and middle class, as the U.S. Census revealed that a record number of Americans, nearly 1 in 2, have fallen into poverty or are getting by on earnings that classify them as low income.
The new census data showed that the ever shrinking middle class continues to struggle as unemployment stays high. The new numbers follow years of low production of wages for the middle class that have hurt millions of workers and families.
Two weeks ago the Labor Department revealed that the unemployment rate fell in November to 8.6 percent, down from 9 percent in October, the lowest since March 2009.
However, 13.3 million Americans remain unemployed. And a key reason the unemployment rate fell so much was because roughly 315,000 people had given up looking for work and were no longer counted as unemployed.
Americans are struggling out there, Mayors in 29 cities say more than 1 in 4 people needed emergency food assistance and many middle-class Americans are dropping below the low-income threshold - roughly $45,000 for a family of four.
States in the South and West had the highest shares of low-income families, including Arizona, New Mexico and South Carolina.