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Wow thats a high percentage

Posted by on Aug. 17, 2011 at 9:56 AM
  • 3 Replies

Report: 36% of Michigan kids live in jobless households

State ranks near last in U.S.; child poverty also a growing problem

Karen Bouffard/ Detroit News Lansing Bureau

Lansing— Unemployment has taken a toll on children in Michigan, with 36 percent living in families in which neither parent has a full-time, year-round job, according to a report out today.

Michigan has more children living without a working parent than 46 other states, according to the 22nd annual Kids Count Data Book by the Annie E. Casey Foundation.

Alaska tied Michigan, and only Kentucky at 38 percent and Mississippi at 39 percent had more kids in households that lack secure parental employment in 2009.

The previous year, Michigan ranked 44th with 31 percent of children in households with neither parent holding a full-time job all year.

The report also found the number of children living in poverty in Michigan grew by 64 percent over the past decade. An additional 75,000 children since 2000 fell into poverty, defined as households with annual incomes of about $22,000 with two parents with two children.

About 23 percent of Michigan's children lived in poverty in 2009, according to the report, compared with 18 percent in 2008 and 14 percent in 2000. The national average was 20 percent in 2009 and 17 percent in 2000.

"The longer kids spend in poverty during their growing-up years, the higher the risk they will not graduate from high school, and that they will not be employed during their critical young adult years," said Jane Zehnder-Merrell, project director for Kids Count in Michigan.

"These kids are going to grow up and be adults in our society, and they will either be a liability or they will be an asset. There are huge costs if they grow up to be adults who are not able to find a job or who become involved in criminal activity."

And it could get worse still for the state's children, advocates said Tuesday.

The number in poverty is expected to grow. The state Department of Human Services last week began notifying families that have been on welfare for more than five years they will soon lose their cash assistance because Michigan will no longer grant extensions to the federal time limit for benefits. The Legislature passed a 48-month limit, which has yet to be signed by Gov. Rick Snyder, that could take effect as early as Oct. 1.

The kids count authors suggest a number of ways states can help families weather unemployment, such as granting parents temporary benefits combined with financial literacy and other counseling services. The state, which has one of the nation's highest unemployment rates, reported a 10.5 percent rate in June.

"What (the report) says about the change in the lives of families and children in this state is profound," Zehnder-Merrell said. "The change nationally in child poverty was only 18 percent, so this is huge to see that (64 percent) change over a decade."

Michigan has had better-than-average rankings for births to teen mothers, child death rates and teen death rates. Its overall ranking on a number of categories ranked it 30th among states, equal to last year, which was the worst ranking in a decade.

One-year-old David Ervin is among those statistics. His father, Todd Ervin of Belleville, graduated from Eastern Michigan University in 2010 with a degree in criminal justice, but hasn't landed a decent job.

"I could probably sell myself in the interview, but I can't get past the application," said Ervin, a 26-year-old single parent. "It might have to do with my age and lack of experience."

Ervin said he hopes to beef up his resume with experience he's getting in the federal AmeriCorps program, where he's a full-time volunteer helping parolees adjust to life outside prison.

Ervin receives a $500 living stipend every two weeks from AmeriCorps. He gets $572 in monthly cash assistance from the state Department of Human Services, as well as $370 per month in food stamps. He also works one day a week as a security guard, but isn't able to get any more hours, he said.

Geralyn Lasher, spokeswoman for Gov. Rick Snyder, described the years covered by the report as a "lost decade" for so many who could not find work.

"This is why it's so crucial that the governor is focusing on creating jobs," Lasher said. "We certainly don't want to see numbers like this as we have for the past decade.

"We need that economic gardening here in the state to support our business and to bring other people here to provide."

If the state's new 48-month welfare limit law goes into effect Oct. 1, about 12,600 families would be thrown off the rolls, including 25,000 to 35,000 children, Zehnder-Merrell said.

"We're asking parents to find a job in an economy where there's four or five workers for every job that's available," she said. "Our policymakers don't seem to be in tune with the reality of what's happening to children in this state and their families."

by on Aug. 17, 2011 at 9:56 AM
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by on Aug. 17, 2011 at 1:09 PM

Wow =(

by on Aug. 17, 2011 at 1:10 PM
Posted on CafeMom Mobile
by on Aug. 17, 2011 at 1:12 PM

I dont doubt it for a second, it is hard as hell to find a job out here! Most people I know can only get a job going through an employment company and pray the company hires them in like my hubby did

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