July 28, 2016 |
Richard Henry and Robert Jones took a break Tuesday from their maintenance jobs and sat on a ledge outside the Municipal Services Building to watch the protests that had overtaken the plaza. From a stage, a woman crooned for the cheering crowd a shaky soul song - an original, it seemed: "Feeeel the Berrrnn. " There was a Bernie supporter in a Superman costume and another in Bernie jammies. There was guy bearing a large wooden cross on his shoulder with the message, "Vote 4 Jesus.
April 21, 2016
By Dan White Pennsylvania, like most of the United States, has a problem. Paychecks have not come back from the Great Recession as strongly as they have following other downturns. American workers' wages and salaries took longer to regain their previous, inflation-adjusted peaks after the Great Recession than after any other recession since World War II. This is especially true in the commonwealth, where wages and salaries grew less than three-quarters of the national rate last year.
April 2, 2016 |
Philadelphia in 2016 is younger, more diverse, and in the midst of a historic, decadelong population upswing - a city undergoing dramatic change after decades of decline. But some of the city's most enduring problems - poverty, low educational attainment, and unemployment - remain frustratingly unsolved, according to the Pew Charitable Trust's State of the City report, released Thursday. The report described Philadelphia as a city transformed - but one that must use its encouraging growth as a stepping-stone.
March 24, 2016 |
Pew Charitable Trusts said Tuesday it will give $8.59 million over the next three years to 45 Philadelphia-area groups that help the region's low-income children, youth, and their families. The Center City foundation it expected the grants annually to assist more than 22,000 local young people. The poverty rate for children in the city is 37 percent, Pew said. The grants from the Pew Fund for Health and Human Services is geared to these areas: early education and child care; prevention and early intervention services to reduce behavioral and academic problems; mental health services; quality after-school programs; and helping parents secure and retain public benefits and services to strengthen household stability.
March 2, 2016
TODAY IS Super Tuesday, and, by day's end, we could know the respective presidential nominees from each major party. But for Philadelphians, that news pales in comparison with Mayor Kenney's intention to embark on a $600 million plan to remake the city's parks and recreation centers. All politics, after all, are local. And here's our local political reality. The largely white Electrical Workers Union and its equally white counterpart, the Carpenters Union, have dominated taxpayer-funded construction work for years.
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.
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 2, 2015 |
As it prepares to choose its next mayor, Philadelphia is on a roll. Crime and unemployment are down. Center City is undergoing a revival that is spreading to the neighborhoods. Residents new and old are living in a city that is cleaner, greener, and more enjoyable than it has been in years. But Philadelphia still struggles with the highest poverty rate among the nation's 10 biggest cities, epidemic gun and drug violence, a pension liability threatening to unravel city finances, growth-killing business and wage taxes, and egregiously underfunded, underperforming schools.
October 7, 2015 |
Each morning, after sending her two boys off to school - good, safe schools in far-off neighborhoods where they can arm themselves with an education - Angela Sutton asks herself a question: What will she put on the table for them when they come home? If she is lucky and can style a neighbor's hair, maybe she will earn enough to buy some Oodles of Noodles, eggs, lunch meat, and bread. Things to get them through. If it is near the end of the month, if the cupboard is empty, perhaps she will only have enough for fast-food dollar-menu meals.