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Over 50 million Americans economically distressed: Report

26 February 2016 17:36



Over 50 million people in the United States live in economically distressed areas plagued by high unemployment, poverty and financial anxiety despite the economic recovery since the Great Recession, according to a new report.

With the overall US economy on the rebound since the 2007-2009 financial crisis, the gap between the rich and poor is only widening, according to a report from the Economic Innovation Group (EIG), a newly-created non-profit research and advocacy group in Washington.

The report shows that economic conditions may have actually worsened since the Great Recession ended in 2009.

Camden, New Jersey – a city widely considered to be one of America’s poorest and most dangerous towns – is also the country’s most economically distressed, according to the EIG.

Cleveland, Ohio; Detroit, Michigan and Newark, New Jersey, are Among America’s largest cities that top the list of most distressed.

“Millions of Americans continue to feel left behind by the economic recovery,” Steve Glickman, co-founder and executive director of EIG, said in a statement accompanying the report. “Achieving the American dream should not [be] predetermined by the ZIP code where you happen to be born.”

Researchers analyzed US Census Bureau data and scored regions based on their populations’ respective educational achievement, housing vacancies, unemployment, poverty levels, median incomes, employment opportunities and businesses.

Between 2010 and 2013, the EIG report says the wealthiest 10 percent of ZIP codes saw payrolls climb 22 percent and the number of active business establishments tick up 11 percent. In the poorest 10 percent of the country, job opportunities were down 13 percent while 11 percent of businesses actually closed up shop.

“The recovery gap stands out as particularly urgent and alarming because it suggests that well-being will continue to worsen for residents of locales that are locked in a downward spiral,” the report said.

Overall, the report illustrates a profoundly uneven picture of a US economic recovery that’s been enjoyed mostly along coastal regions in the Northeast, northern portions of the Midwest and several cities on the West Coast.

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