While the U.S. economy has shown some signs of recovery—the U.S. unemployment rate has dipped below 8 percent from 10 percent three years ago—the economic outlook for many working families is bleak. New data from the U.S. Census Bureau show that the number of low-income working families in the United States increased to 10.4 million in 2011, up from 10.2 million a year earlier.
This means that nearly one third of all working families—32 percent—may not have enough money to meet basic needs. At the same time, inequality among working families is increasing, as higher-income families receive a larger share of income relative to families at the bottom of the income distribution.
Read the Brief (PDF)
In January 2014, significant changes are scheduled to go into effect for the General Education Development—GED®—test. While there is agreement that the GED test needs to be updated in order to better recognize the skills required in today’s economy, there are concerns that the pending changes could create obstacles for students, especially low-income adults.
This new brief by the Working Poor Families Project provides an overview of the GED, a primer on the 2014 changes, and explores alternatives to attaining a high school equivalency diploma. The brief includes actions states can take to prepare for the changes to the GED and ensure that low-income adults have viable options to attain the basic skills and credentials needed to connect to higher levels of education and better employment.
Read the Brief (PDF)
Millions of American breadwinners work hard to support their families. But, despite their effort, almost one in three working families are mired in low-wage jobs that provide inadequate benefits and offer little opportunity for advancement and economic security. Compounding the problem are public policies that do not adequately prepare workers to advance to higher-skilled, higher-paying jobs or promote the creation of quality jobs.
The Working Poor Families Project (WPFP) was launched in 2002 by national philanthropic leaders who saw the need to strengthen state policies affecting these working families. This national initiative is now supported by the Annie E. Casey, Ford, Joyce and Kresge foundations. WPFP focuses on the states because their policies and investments critically affect the lives of working families.
The WPFP is active in 22 states and the District of Columbia. In each state the WPFP partners with one or more nonprofit organizations to strengthen state policies to better prepare America's working families for a more secure economic future.