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Families Feeling Impact of US Recession
October 31, 2002

"Truth is dew from heaven, catch it in a clean receptacle."
—Yugoslav proverb "


The October 11th issue of the Economist spelled out how the current US slowdown has been hurting the typical household:

"The latest annual poverty figures...showed that median household income fell 2.2% in 2001, the first drop since 1991. America's overall poverty rate rose from 11.3% in 2000 to 11.7% in 2001, the first rise since 1993. This rise was mainly concentrated among white people and in the suburbs. By contrast with previous recessions, child poverty remained unchanged, as did poverty among blacks and Latinos. Another set of statistics...showed that the number of Americans without health insurance rose in 2001 to 42.1 million, as small companies, in particular, cut back benefits in the face of recession and the rising costs of health care. The number of uninsured had fallen in the previous two years.

"If the economy stalls, these poverty and health-care numbers will almost certainly worsen. For optimists, including Bush-team officials, the key to avoiding such gloom is solid consumer spending, based on low unemployment and strong overall income growth. But is the typical American, laden with debt and worried about his job, ready to be that robust?"

For ideas on how you can deal with an economic downturn, check out the article "Surviving Tight Times -- What to Do When the Money Runs Out," in the January 2002 back issue of Child Care Information Exchange. This back issue is available for purchasing online or offline at www.ChildCareExchange.com.


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