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Census Data: 21 Percent Of New Yorkers Live In Poverty

FILE -  A man looks through the trash in New York City. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

FILE – A man looks through the trash in New York City. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) – New census figures show that nearly 21 percent of New Yorkers lived in poverty last year.

The one percent increase in the poverty rate comes even as the city has gained back all of the jobs it lost in the recession. The national average is 15.9 percent.

1010 WINS’ Steve Sandberg reports

Elwanda Young, senior vice president and CEO of the United Way of New York City, called these latest numbers “appalling.”

“We find this latest report just appalling, that people continue to suffer,” she told 1010 WINS.

She said the report also shows a growing gap between the rich and the poor.

“The gap has increased to almost a full percentage point and that means now that 1.7 million New Yorkers are classified as poor,” she said. “That means they are living on an income of less than $19,000 for a family of three.”

A spokeswoman for Mayor Michael Bloomberg told The New York Times that the numbers “reflect a national challenge.”

“The U.S. economy has shifted and too many people are getting left behind without the skills they need to compete and succeed,” Samantha Levine said.

She said that’s why the mayor believes a new approach is needed for job creation and education.

(TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)