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De Blasio: No Improvement In NYC Poverty Rate From 2008 To 2012

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Mayor Bill de Blasio (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

Mayor Bill de Blasio (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

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NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Mayor Bill de Blasio and an advocacy group announced Wednesday that poverty rates have remained unchanged over several years in New York City, despite the recovery since the 2008 recession.

The Mayor’s Annual Poverty Report – by de Blasio’s office and the New York City Center for Economic Opportunity – analyzed data from 2005 to 2012, and placed the city’s poverty rate at 21.4 percent – with no statistical change since 2011.

Despite improvement in the city’s economic and employment conditions since the Great Recession that began in 2008, 45.6 percent of the city’s population still lived near the poverty line in 2012, compared with 30.7 percent in the official federal measure, the Mayor’s office said.

“Prior to the recession, the poverty level was 19 percent in the city, and now it’s 21.4,” Dr. Christine D’Onofrio, lead researcher for the study, told 1010 WINS. “And it’s reflecting that even though in 2012, we were coming out of an economic recovery, more people are employed – labor force petition here is increasing. But wages are not increasing, or have not, at least by 2012, increased fast enough,”

The report indicated that poverty rose 1.8 percent from 2008 for adults with full-time, year-round jobs – reaching 8 percent in 2012. Poverty rates also increased for working families with two full-time workers – hitting 5.2 percent in 2012. Poverty for families with one full-time worker and one part-time worker rose 2.6 percentage points to 14.8 percent, and poverty with one full-time worker rose 1 percentage point to 17.1 percent, the report said.

The report also indicated significant increases in poverty for every demographic group between 2008 and 2012. In particular, poverty rose 6.6 percent for Asian New Yorkers, and 5.3 percent for non-citizens and new immigrants.

“This report highlights the urgency of our policy and legislative agenda,” Mayor de Blasio said in a news release. “The data clearly shows that too many New Yorkers are struggling to get by, and the city must do more to address their needs. We are committed to helping level the playing field, while ensuring that New York continues to be a vibrant economic city for all.”

The release said the de Blasio administration has been working to reduce poverty and inequality – with such efforts as universal pre-kindergarten, expanded paid sick leave, more jobs with living wages, and a municipal ID card that will allow for access to services for undocumented immigrants.

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