Despite being below the national average of 15 percent, the Census Bureau recently reported a slight increase in Pennsylvania’s Poverty rate. Up from 13.8 in 2012 to 13.9 in 2013, almost 1.8 million Pennsylvanians are considered to be living below the poverty line.
A tenth of a percent may seem paltry but a retrospective look at the past twelve years determines a full 3 percent increase. Associated Press reporter Kevin Begos believes that the economy just isn’t growing the way people hoped it would. There simply aren’t enough jobs for the hundreds of thousands of people looking to support themselves and their families.
Despite the statewide increase, the poverty rate in Pittsburgh has fallen from 12.6 to 12.1 percent and can perhaps be attributed to an influx of people from rural communities seeking employment within the city limits. Now that 450,000 more people are living in poverty and trends over the past decade indicate a steady increase, officials are struggling to find a solution. Some feel that universities, businesses and the government should work to train people for certain jobs. But there doesn’t seem to be a definitive solution.
“ Everyone agrees that it has to be a partnership between the communities and the government.” Says Begos