A new poverty reported submitted on Wednesday to the New York City Council by the mayor’s office and the New York City Center for Economic Opportunity (CEO) shows that, although the economy and jobless rate have improved in the city since the 2008 recession, the percentage of New Yorkers living in poverty remained the same from 2011 to 2012.
The report placed the city’s poverty rate — that is, those living below the poverty line–at 21.4 percent. However, nearly 50 percent of city’s population (45.6 percent) continued to live near or below the poverty line in 2012, compared to 30.7 percent in the official federal measure.
One reason for this disparity might be that, although there has been a slight economic improvement in the employment sector, the cost of living and housing costs New York City have skyrocketed.
The report shows a rise in poverty among workers and working families. The poverty rate for working age adults (18-64 years of age) who were employed full-time, year-round, rose by 1.8 percentage points from 2008, reaching 8 percent in 2012.
Rates also increased for working families with two full-time workers by 1.3 percentage points (to 5.2 percent); one full-time and one part-time worker by 2.6 percentage points (to 14.8 percent); and one full-time worker by 1 percentage point (to 17.1 percent).
The report also highlights statistically significant increases in the poverty rate across nearly every demographic group over the 2008 to 2012 time period.
Increases in poverty were particularly pronounced for Asian New Yorkers (a 6.6 percentage point increase, totaling 29 percent) and non-citizens (a 5.3 percentage point increase, totaling 29.9 percent), and nearly one-third (32.9 percent) of the city’s Asian population falls into the non-citizen category.
“The data clearly shows that too many New Yorkers are struggling to get by, and the city must do more to address their needs,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio. “We are committed to helping level the playing field, while ensuring that New York continues to be a vibrant economic city for all.”
This year’s report is the first issued since the New York City Charter was revised in December 2013, requiring the Mayor to submit an annual report on poverty with a description of the city’s strategy and resources aimed at alleviating poverty.
The full 2005-2012 poverty report is available here.