It is not a feel good piece.
U.S. economy leaving record numbers in severe poverty:
The percentage of poor Americans who are living in severe poverty has
reached a 32-year high, millions of working Americans are falling closer to the
poverty line and the gulf between the nation's "haves" and "have-nots" continues
A McClatchy Newspapers analysis of 2005 census figures, the latest
available, found that nearly 16 million Americans are living in deep or severe
poverty. A family of four with two children and an annual income of less than
$9,903 - half the federal poverty line - was considered severely poor in 2005.
So were individuals who made less than $5,080 a year.
The McClatchy analysis found that the number of severely poor Americans grew by 26 percent from 2000 to 2005. That's 56 percent faster than the overall poverty population grew in the same period. McClatchy's review also found statistically significant increases in the percentage of the population in severe poverty in 65 of 215 large U.S. counties, and similar increases in 28 states. The review also suggested that the rise in severely poor residents isn't confined to large urban counties but extends to suburban and rural areas.
The plight of the severely poor is a distressing sidebar to an unusual economic expansion. Worker productivity has increased dramatically since the brief recession of 2001, but wages and job growth have lagged behind. At the same time, the share of national income going to corporate profits has dwarfed the amount going to wages and salaries. That helps explain why the median household income of working-age families, adjusted for inflation, has fallen for five straight years.