Making Progress and Losing Ground

According to new data from the Supplemental Poverty Measure (SPM), the expansion of the Child Tax Credit for 2021 played a major role in dropping child poverty to a record low, just over five percent. In 2013, census tables showed that number as high as 13.7 percent. The SPM reflected the largest year-to-year decline ever between 2020 and 2021, with a decrease of 4.5 percentage points, and significantly lowering numbers across all racial and ethnic groups. The poverty rate for black, non-Latino children fell from 17.2 percent in 2020 to 8.3 percent in 2021. Annual average employment rates also went up for every educational, racial, and ethnic category, according to Labor Department data.

However, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that food prices today are much higher than a year ago, with grocery prices up 13.5 percent and restaurant prices up eight percent. Some basic items with particularly staggering increases include eggs (up 39.8 percent), flour (up 23.3 percent), and milk (up 17 percent). According to the Consumer Price Index, consumer prices rose 0.1 percent since July, which surprised many investors and negatively impacted the stock market. Utility costs will also increase, with the average monthly payment going up more than 17 percent for heat this winter, compared to last year, and 35 percent more over the last two years.

Consider: What evidence have you seen at your organization that child poverty has decreased, and/or that the cost of living has increased over the last year?

The 300+ organizations in Citygate Network membership seek to move people in desperate situations and destitute conditions (i.e., hungry, homeless, abused, and addicted) from human suffering to human flourishing through the process of gospel-powered life transformation. If you or someone you love is in need of Christ-centered compassion and care, please visit our member locator page today to find a mission near you.

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