According to the latest census data, the share of poor who are ages 18-64 now stands at 56.7 percent, compared to 35.5 percent who are children and 7.9 percent who are 65 and older. The working-age share surpasses a previous high of 55.5 percent first reached in 2004.
Obama is preparing to outline a new plan for creating jobs and stimulating the economy in a prime-time address to Congress on Thursday. The Republican-controlled House has been adamant about requiring spending cuts in return for an increase in the federal debt limit. Suggested cuts have included proposals to raise the eligibility age for future Medicare recipients or to reduce other domestic programs in a way that would disproportionately affect the poor.
“The reality is there are going to be a lot of working poor for the foreseeable future,” Sheldon Danzigehe said, a University of Michigan public policy professor who specializes in poverty. (AP)