January 14, 2016
By Claire Grandison and Jamie Gullen While the recent news that our national unemployment rate has fallen to around 5 percent is cause for optimism, a troubling trend should not be overlooked: the persistently high youth unemployment rate. According to the latest release from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the unemployment rate for youths aged 16 to 19 is 16 percent, more than triple the national average. For African American youths, the number is 24 percent. Although the youth unemployment rate remains consistently high, it is often written off. Some people believe that young people are merely seeking employment to supplement a comfortable family income, occupy time over a languid summer, or gain experience for a college application.
December 31, 2015
By Antony Davies and James R. Harrigan Once again, the Fraser Institute has released its annual Economic Freedom of North America report. And once again - unsurprisingly- the United States is in a downward spiral. Over the past 15 years, the United States has dropped from an 8.6 on Fraser's 10-point scale to a 7.7. In 2000, Fraser ranked the United States as the most economically free country on the planet. Today, we are 14th - less economically free than Canada, the United Kingdom, Switzerland, and the United Arab Emirates.
December 23, 2015 |
For me, Christmas is a time for reflection and gratitude, a time of celebration and worship. It is a time that we give gifts to commemorate the birth of Jesus. Christmas is a time of reflection for my family, too. We laugh about Christmases past, share gifts and smiles in the present, and share hope for what's to come in the future. That future is embodied in our children, so the gifts are often for them. However, this Christmas, as my wife and I endeavor to give my children the gifts they desire, I'm going to do something different.
December 13, 2015 |
NEW YORK - Former Gov. Ed Rendell on Saturday challenged Philadelphia's business and political elite to contribute personally to Mayor-elect Jim Kenney's $60 million goal of providing universal pre-kindergarten throughout the city. Speaking at the main gala of the annual Pennsylvania Society weekend, he made a broad appeal to the well-heeled crowd, saying that poverty remained a stubborn problem throughout Pennsylvania in spite of the renaissance enjoyed in parts of Philadelphia and Pittsburgh.
November 22, 2015 |
Philadelphia has made some strides in helping its poor over the last two years, but has a long way to go as the most deeply impoverished of the nation's 10 largest cities, according to a City Hall report released Friday. An office established two years ago to reduce poverty in the city reported that in the last year alone, a new network of benefits centers has helped connect several thousand impoverished Philadelphians with about $13 million in local, state, and federal benefits. Other measures also have yielded results since Mayor Nutter created the Mayor's Office of Community Empowerment and Opportunity in 2013 and placed Eva Gladstein at the helm as executive director, the group reported.
November 16, 2015 |
Even as poverty leveled off in New Jersey last year, it remained at a 50-year high and showed no signs of abating given persistent structural problems such as income inequality and changing employment trends that are trapping the poor, a new report has found. "New Jersey's current and long-term employment outlooks are ominous and raise the possibility that we are witnessing profound and long-term shifts in employment opportunity, potentially requiring corresponding paradigm shifts in government economic development and antipoverty strategies," reads a 146-page annual report of the Legal Services of New Jersey Poverty Research Institute.
November 13, 2015
WE ARE HEADING toward the holiday that encourages gluttony. Supermarkets are already overstocking their shelves with traditional Thanksgiving food items. But in many homes, there will be people who won't have a traditional Thanksgiving dinner or a meal at all that day. How many of us stuff ourselves on Thanksgiving not fully appreciating that many people regularly go hungry, scraping by on a few dollars a day? Typically at the beginning of the month, I select a personal finance book with wisdom or strategies to help individuals improve their financial situation.
November 5, 2015 |
FIRST, WE congratulate Jim Kenney on his victory in yesterday's election, after an impressive campaign that revealed the mayor-elect as a man of passion and purpose. After more than two decades in city government, Kenney understands the challenges that the city faces in the years ahead. Succeeding as mayor means being attuned to the street-level issues, as well as the ability to focus on the "long game" of big and complicated issues. We believe three issues in particular are of overriding importance for the Kenney administration: * Poverty . The figure is always shocking, however many times we hear it. More than one in four Philadelphians live in poverty, nearly 400,000 in a city of 1.5 million.
October 23, 2015 |
Leave it to a Canadian to put a positive spin on SNAP (a.k.a. food stamps), a program whose ungainly full name is the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program . "We don't have food stamps in Canada. A lot of Americans don't appreciate that the program is actually really cool and effective," says Leanne Brown , author of Good and Cheap: Eat Well on $4 a Day (Workman). She'll discuss the book and sign copies Tuesday, Oct. 27 at the Free Library of Philadelphia . The book has become an unlikely phenomenon, and the interest in it started before it was officially published in July.
October 1, 2015 |
Philadelphia has the highest rate of deep poverty among America's 10 biggest cities, an examination of federal data by The Inquirer shows. The city is already the poorest in that group. Deep poverty is measured as income of 50 percent or less of the poverty rate. A family of four living in deep poverty takes in $12,000 or less annually, half the poverty rate of $24,000 for a family that size. Philadelphia's deep-poverty rate is 12.3 percent, or around 186,000 people - 60,000 of whom are children, an examination of the newly released U.S. Census 2014 American Community Survey shows.