By Clay

The regularly scheduled blog was interrupted by a trip to London to meet with Social Finance UK.  It was a wonderful trip, and I learned a great deal from the wonderful people at Social Finance.  With that said, let's get back to it!

2013's Poverty Rate Out on Tuesday:  "Poverty, as officially measured, has held steady at about 15 percent of the population since 2010, and unfortunately, I expect it to do so again this year. I expect the real median household income to do a little better, up by maybe 1 percent."

Doesn't look like much hope for a drastic change in the poverty rate.  I was eating lunch in London when a person at the table over from me asked me how the American economy was doing.  I gave a similar answer to Bernstein's analysis.  There is a recovery but it is not reaching ordinary people.

Lower Unemployment Rate but Not a Lower Poverty Rate?:  "Historically, the poverty rate has moved with the unemployment rate. Since 1970, in fact, the official poverty rate has spiked during each recession. Intuitively, this makes sense—if you lose your job, then you lose access to a steady stream of income. When you find a new job—as people are wont to do in the recovery after a recession, your prospects improve. Nevertheless, as shown in Figure 1, despite the sharp decline in unemployment following the Great Recession, the headline poverty rate has remained at or near 15%."

Related article here, which argues that a decline in marriage is at fault for unemployment dropping and not having a corresponding drop in the poverty rate.