Americans want action on jobs! A CNN/Opinion Research poll released this week found that 65 percent of Americans would rather President Obama and Congress focus on job creation than deficit reduction. Meanwhile, the Census Bureau just released a new report covering key indicators of how our nation faired in 2010. The data is mostly grim – and in all likelihood has not improved for 2011. All indicators reinforce the fact that good jobs are desperately needed now!
- The number of Americans in poverty in 2010 jumped to a record-breaking 46.2 million, including 16.4 million kids. That number is equivalent to the population of a whopping 24 states plus the District of Colombia.*
- Median household income declined by $1,154 from 2009 to 2010.
- Employment-based health coverage dropped from 56.1 percent in 2009 to 55.3 percent in 2010. Key parts of the Affordable Care Act that will help address some of these issues do not begin until 2014.
- An additional 3.2 million Americans were kept from poverty by unemployment insurance benefits.
- If Social Security payments were excluded from income, the number of Americans over 65 living in poverty would be 14 million higher.
- Public health programs like the State Children’s Health Insurance Program and Medicaid helped fill some of the gap for those losing insurance from employers.
- More young adults had health insurance coverage in 2010 thanks to the Affordable Care Act that allows young adults to stay on their parents’ insurance until age 25. Among 18-to-24 year olds, the rate rose from 70.7 percent having insurance in 2009 to 72.8 percent in 2010.
* Equal to the combined population of AK, AR, CT, DE, DC, HI, ID, IA, KS, ME, MI, MT, NE, NV, NH, NM, ND, OK, OR, RI, SD, UT, VT, WV and WY based off the Census Bureau’s Annual Population Estimate, 2009. The poverty line is currently set at $22,113 for a family of four.