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Monday, March 17, 2014

Low-Wage Workers Finding It’s Easier to Fall Into Poverty, and Harder to Get Out

Today's post was shared by Steven Greenhouse and comes from
CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. — At 7 in the morning, they are already lined up — poultry plant workers, housekeepers, discount store clerks — to ask for help paying their heating bills or feeding their families.
And once Metropolitan Ministries opens at 8 a.m., these workers fill the charity’s 40 chairs, with a bawling infant adding to the commotion. From pockets and handbags they pull out utility bills or rent statements and hand them over to caseworkers, who often write checks — $80, $110, $150 — to patch over gaps in meeting this month’s expenses or filling the gas tank to get to work.
Just off her 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. shift, Erika McCurdy needed help last month with her electricity and heating bill, which jumped to $280 in January from the usual $120 — a result of one of the coldest winters in memory. A nurse’s aide at an assisted living facility, Ms. McCurdy said there were many weeks when she couldn’t make ends meet raising her 19-year-old son and 7-year-old daughter.
“There’s just no way, making $9 an hour as a single parent with two children, that I can live without assistance,” said Ms. McCurdy, 40, a strong-voiced, solidly built Chattanooga native.
She was so financially stretched, she said, that she and her daughter often sneaked into...
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Read more about pverty and workers' compensation
Mar 17, 2014
Erika McCurdy, 40, of Chattanooga, Tenn., until recently made $9 an hour as a nurse's aide, not enough to keep her family above the poverty line. CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. — At 7 in the morning, they are already lined up ...
Sep 16, 2013
It is a national disgrace when hard work, in any industry, leaves workers in poverty. But falling living standards and economic hardship among tipped workers signal prolonged stagnation throughout the economy.
Oct 03, 2013
There were about 8 million California residents living in poverty in 2011, according to a new report that factored in health care and other costs, the Riverside Press-Enterprise reports. The figure is significantly higher than ...
Aug 28, 2013
This is also part of the explanation for why the percentage of Americans living below the poverty line has been increasing even as the economy has started to recover — from 12.3 percent in 2006 to around 14 percent this year ...

Jon L. Gelman of Wayne NJ is the author NJ Workers’ Compensation Law (West-Thompson) and co-author of the national treatise, Modern Workers’ Compensation Law (West-Thompson). For over 4 decades the Law Offices of Jon L Gelman  1.973.696.7900  have been representing injured workers and their families who have suffered occupational accidents and illnesses.