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More Than Half Of Oregon Families Living In Poverty Have At Least One Working Parent

Oregon Center For Public Policy

The Oregon Center for Public Policy says the state’s low unemployment rate doesn’t necessarily mean fewer families are living in poverty. The group’s newest report suggests that over 68 percent of households with one working parent live below the poverty line.

Policy analyst Janet Bauer says about 100,000 children are living in poverty despite having a working parent. The effect of low paying jobs on kids is most evident for those of color. 

For example, about 50 percent of black children with one full time working parent lived in poverty, compared to 30 percent of white children.

BAUER: “It’s really reflective of the structural problems that exist in our job market and social structures generally that access to good paying jobs is not equally distributed.”

Bauer adds 26 percent of single working moms live in poverty as opposed to about 15 percent of single dads. An increase in earned income tax credits, she says, could be viable solution.

John Charles, president of Cascade Policy Institute is somewhat critical of the report, and says changes in education funding might reduce poverty in Oregon.

Melorie Begay is a multimedia journalist for KLCC News. She was the Inaugural KLCC Public Radio Foundation Journalism Fellow. She has a bachelors in Multimedia Journalism from the University of New Mexico. She previously interned at KUNM public radio in Albuquerque, NM and served as a fellow for the online news publication New Mexico In Depth.
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