You have reached your limit of free articles this month.

Enjoy unlimited access to myAJC.com

Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks.

GREAT REASONS TO SUBSCRIBE TODAY!

  • IN-DEPTH REPORTING
  • INTERACTIVE STORYTELLING
  • NEW TOPICS & COVERAGE
  • ePAPER
X

You have read of premium articles.

Get unlimited access to all of our breaking news, in-depth coverage and bonus content- exclusively for subscribers. Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks

X

Welcome to myAJC.com

This subscriber-only site gives you exclusive access to breaking news, in-depth coverage, exclusive interactives and bonus content.

You can read free articles of your choice a month that are only available on myAJC.com.

Being poor costs too much in Georgia, report says


Being poor means having little money and – at least in Georgia – it seems to mean having higher costs for basics, according to a report released this week.

Rent and childcare eat up most of the average poor person’s resources, according to the report by 9to5 Georgia and the Coalition on Human Needs.

While poverty rates are down and incomes in general are up, the improvement has not been enough to reach many of the nearly 1.7 million poor Georgians, said Deborah Weinstein, executive director of the Coalition on Human Needs. “The more troubling news is that the poor and near-poor live in a precarious situation,” The simple fact is, it is expensive to be poor in Georgia.”

The downbeat assessment comes more than six years after the economy started struggling back from a nasty recession and more than four years after job growth restarted in Georgia. The unemployment rate in the state has finally returned to pre-recession levels.

But the rate does not include children, one in four of whom are believed to be living in poverty. And the unemployment rate doesn’t include people who have dropped from the workforce and it does not reflect the mix of jobs – many of the added jobs are low-wage positions and many of the Georgians who work have more than one paycheck to get by.

An updated jobs report is due tomorrow from the state Labor Department.

Anti-poverty programs have lifted some above the poverty line and softened the blow for many others, according to the report. Advocates also said that many anti-poverty programs don’t get to everyone who is eligible, while other programs do not provide substantial benefits.

According to the report:

• Most of Georgia’s households with annual incomes below $20,000 spend more than half of their income on rent.

• The average cost in Georgia for an infant in a child care center is more than $7,600 a year; for an infant and a four-year-old, it’s more than $14,100.

Using that average, a family at the poverty line with an infant and toddler in child care would have to spend 58 percent of its income on child care, the report said.

• Programs such as refundable tax credits, SNAP (the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, also known as food stamps), free or reduced-price school lunch and child care subsidies have helped lift 833,000 Georgia residents above the poverty line.

The groups behind the report are advocacy groups.

The Coalition on Human Needs describes itself as “an alliance of national organizations working together to promote public policies which address the needs of low-income and other vulnerable populations.”

The other group, 9to5 Georgia, is a statewide chapter of 9to5, the National Association of Working Women.


Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Business

‘Full Throttle Remastered,’when I’m on the road, I’m indestructible

“Full Throttle Remastered” is LucasArts’ best adventure game. It’s also the only LucasArts adventure I’ve ever played. While several publishers vied for the crown back in the genre’s heyday, the cream of the point-and-click crop came from Sierra On-Line and LucasArts. The game you played first tended to determine...
Examining a bevy of snazzy sound makers
Examining a bevy of snazzy sound makers

To some, they’re fashion statements. To others, useful entertainment purveyors. And if done right, headphones hit a home run on multiple counts, as good to look at as they are to wear and hear. That’s the holy grail that Gizmo Guy’s been pursuing this spring, stepping out with some snazzy sound makers wrapped around my ears. So what&rsquo...
Resetting your Apple ID password can be tricky

I got a call from my mother-in-law this week. She usually doesn’t call me directly unless she has a technology problem, and this time, it was a good one. It seems her iPad and her iPhone were both in a state of wanting her Apple ID password, and they were telling her the account was locked and to proceed she needed to reset the password. This...
We’re clueless about the coming robot job takeover, report says
We’re clueless about the coming robot job takeover, report says

Robotics and artificial intelligence are retooling the workplace faster than we can make sense of it. What should we do, for instance, with the taxi drivers and long-haul truckers who could see their livelihoods evaporate with the evolution of self-driving vehicles? Researchers say not only is the world changing at breakneck speed, but that sociologists...
Playing what we love
Playing what we love

Do the games we play define us, or do we define the games we play? It is an insane question, since the answer is most certainly a bit of both. A game that delights one type of player may bore another, as some of the most popular games have shown. Love “Call of Duty”? Finding someone who thinks it destroys the fabric of humanity is easier...
More Stories