Recession’s Ongoing Impact on Children

Posted by on January 21, 2013

Child poverty measures on the rise

In Pennsylvania, the number of children living with an unemployed parent doubled during the recession, according to a new report from First Focus.

The Recession’s Ongoing Impact on Children, 2012: Indicators of Children’s Economic Well-Being found that the recession and its lingering effects will keep the U.S. child poverty rate high. The analysis, written by researchers at the Urban Institute, stipulates that when the U.S. Census Bureau releases 2012 figures in September 2013, nearly 25 percent of children will be living in poverty, the report projects.

Pennsylvania findings include:
* The number of commonwealth children living with an unemployed parent jumped from 108,000, or 4 percent, in 2007, to 226,100, or 9 percent, in 2012. Nationally, 6.3 million children lived with an unemployed parent during a typical month in 2012, compared to 2007 — a 71 percent jump.
* Pennsylvania children living with parents lacking a job for six months or more jumped from 22,200 to 100,100.
* Pennsylvania’s child poverty rate climbed from 9 percent to 14 percent. At a poverty rate of one child in seven, Pennsylvania is among 27 states considered to have high child poverty, measured at one child in five.

“The numbers tell us two critical things: first, the recession continues to hit America’s children hard; and second, smart investments in children’s health and well-being can mitigate the harm. Federal resources like the Earned Income Tax Credit and the Child Tax Credit, CHIP and Medicaid, and even child support enforcement funding, can keep families afloat and protect America’s children,” said First Focus President Bruce Lesley.

The effects of poverty and a parent’s unemployment on children include psychological stress, lower academic performance, and increased abuse and neglect, the report notes. Long-term consequences can include diminished career aspirations and earnings as an adult.

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