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KPBS: POVERTY RATE IN SAN DIEGO REMAINS STEADY

By City News Service

The rate of San Diegans living below the federal poverty line last year was about the same as the year before, the Center on Policy Initiatives reported Thursday.

The Center on Policy Initiatives said figures from the U.S. Census Bureau showed 15.7 percent of San Diego residents lived below the poverty line in 2014 — set by the federal government at $12,316 a year for a single person or $24,008 combined income for two adults with two children.

That compares to 15.8 percent in 2013.

Also, 20.4 percent of children in the city were living in families under the poverty line.

The poverty rate stagnated despite an improving jobs picture, which saw tens of thousands more people employed in the region than the year before. The Center on Policy Initiatives said most of the job growth came in low-wage positions.

“The San Diego region added more than 40,000 jobs in the past year, but too many of those jobs are paying poverty wages,” said Kyra Greene, Center on Policy Initiatives research and policy analyst. “The recovery has not reached hundreds of thousands of people in our community.”

Center on Policy Initiatives also pointed out that the federal poverty rate is the same across the country, and does not take into account high-cost cities like San Diego.

According to the census figures, those living under the poverty line in 2014 included:

— 24.8 percent of Latinos, 22.9 percent of African Americans, 13.3 percent of Asians and 9.3 percent of whites;

— 16.8 percent of women and 14.6 percent of men;

— 11.4 percent of seniors; and

— 20.1 percent of part-time workers and 9 percent of all who were employed.

According to the Center on Policy Initiatives, a single person needs to earn $27,655 annually to make ends meet in San Diego with a no-frills budget. For a family of four, the figure is $84,739.

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CPI San Diego
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Written by CPI San Diego