Shrinking middle class trends + school integration updates + overtime rule changes

News.┬áMore low-income kids have health coverage. A huge number of people with factory jobs need government help. In fact, 1 in 3 manufacturing workers are on welfare, a study says. Oklahoma eyes Medicaid expansion. More DC parents and kids are homeless than single adults. Gap years are becoming more common but are often elusive for low-income students. Broadband service often stops at the poverty line in the U.S. Low-income kids experience stress that hurts them biologically. For another perspective – a third of people in the UK have experienced poverty in the last three years.

Data & demographics:

  • The economy still ranks as the No. 1 problem facing the U.S., Gallup says. Nearly 1 in 5 Americans rank it at the top, followed by dissatisfaction with the government and unemployment.
  • The middle class is shrinking in U.S. metro areas, Pew says. Metro areas with the largest upper-income groups are in the Northeast and coastal California, and the areas with the largest lower-income tiers are in the Southwest. Pew reports additional findings (and graphs):
    • The middle class is declining, with a growth in upper and lower incomes.
    • The upper-income tier increased more than the lower-income tier in 119 metro areas, and the lower-income tier increased more in 110 areas.
    • The 10 metro areas with the largest middle-income populations are in the Midwest.
    • There’s a huge variation in median income of the middle-class across metro areas.

Reports & resources:

  • The uninsured rate for working adults decreased in the majority (72 percent) of U.S. counties, the Census Bureau says. Check the stats and color-coded map to see where your coverage area falls.
  • Are we in 2016 yet? The school integration initiatives have been interesting to watch. If you want to delve into this more, follow updates by the Poverty & Race Research Action Council, especially with the Hill briefing that takes place tomorrow.
Final thoughts. The new Department of Labor overtime rule could help 12.5 million working people, says the Economic Policy Institute. Where are these people? And what will this do? Check out the EPI tables for info about gender, age, geography, industry and education. Are there significant gains in your area, and will it help a particular group?
Carefully curating for you,
Carolyn Crist

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