American Press, Lake Charles, La., on state’s median income slow to pick up:

Oct. 1
American Press, Lake Charles, La., on state’s median income slow to pick up:
The governor and Legislature need to pay special attention to U.S. Census data that shows that the state, while making some modest progress on median income, is still lagging unacceptably behind the rest of the nation on too many levels.
While Southwest Louisiana has a number of promising economic development projects in the pipeline, the rest of the state needs to get going as well and catch up.
The latest census data shows about one in every five Louisiana residents lives in poverty, a rate that has not changed significantly since 2000.
Additionally, Louisiana’s median household income rose in 2012 but still lags behind most of the rest of the nation, according to the Census Bureau’s American Community Survey that compares statistics gathered in 2011 with those gathered in 2012. ...
State Department of Economic Development Secretary Stephen Moret said in a prepared statement that Louisiana showed improvement, particularly when compared with the national poverty rate. The percentage of this state’s population in poverty fell a half of 1 percent, or a 0.5 point decline when 2011 figures are compared with 2012 statistics, which was the ninth-best improvement in the nation. ...
Jan Moller, director of Louisiana Budget Project pointed out that the census report showed black residents were almost three times as likely as white residents to live in poverty last year — 35.5 percent versus 12.4 percent. ...
Louisiana showed a 4.2 percent increase in median household income, one of a few states that showed a rise, between 2000 and 2012. The median household income, meaning the same number having more as having less, in Louisiana was $41,227 in 2000 and $42,944 in 2012.
State estimates for median household income in 2012 ranged from a high of $71,122 in Maryland to a low of $37,095 in Mississippi. The U.S. median household income was $51,371 in 2012.
We’ve got to redouble our efforts to get people out of poverty and off government dependence.
Moret is right. The best solution to poverty is a good job. And in today’s economy, the best route to a good job is a good education.

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