Center for American Progress Action

RELEASE: New Report Tracks New York’s Progress Toward Cutting Poverty and Expanding Opportunity
Press Release

RELEASE: New Report Tracks New York’s Progress Toward Cutting Poverty and Expanding Opportunity

Washington, DC – With over one million Americans set to lose unemployment insurance at the end of this month, Half in Ten today released a new report that ranks how the 50 states are faring on 14 different indicators of economic security and opportunity.  The report finds that while in 2012, the official poverty rate in the United States was 15 percent, in New York the poverty rate was 15.9 percent, ranking it 28th among other states in the country.

Across the 14 different indicators, New York is doing the best on its rankings for the gender wage gap, higher education attainment rate, and lack of health insurance coverage:

  • New York ranks 5h best on the gender wage gap of all 50 states and D.C.   A woman in New York earned 84 cents for every dollar a man earned working the same job in the state in 2012.
  • On higher education attainment rate, New York ranked 5th in the nation. 49.78% percent of young adults ages 25 to 34 in New York had an associate’s degree or higher from 2009 to 2011.
  • New York ranks 8th in lack of health insurance coverage.  18.7 percent of people under age 65 and below 138 percent of the poverty line in New York did not have health insurance at any time in 2012.

In contrast, New York is doing the worst on savings and assets, affordable and available housing, and the unemployment rate:

  • New York ranked 48th worst in the nation in savings and assets. 32.9 percent of households in New York were “asset poor” in 2010. This is the share of households whose total assets, including any home equity—minus their total liabilities—are less than three times the monthly federal poverty threshold.
  • In affordable and available housing, New York ranked 45th out of all 50 states and the District of Columbia.  New York had 49 apartments or other units that were affordable and available for every 100 renter households with very low incomes in 2011. Very low-income households are those with incomes at or below 50 percent of the area median income.
  • When it comes to the unemployment rate, New York ranks 38thThe unemployment rate continued to decline in 2013, falling from 8.1 percent in August 2012 to 7.3 percent in August 2013.  But in New York, the unemployment rate is still 8.5 percent.

The bottom line is this: Low-income families in states across the country are suffering from too many years of reckless efforts to reduce the federal deficit. Although many states need to improve local policies—especially those that hinder the ability of low-income families to access federally funded programs—the state-by-state results from our indicators show that the budget choices we make at the national level have consequences.

It’s time to reset the debate. It’s time to reinvest in our economy and build a better path to shared opportunity for families that are still struggling, even in a slow-growing economy. Although not ideal, the recent budget agreement reached by House and Senate negotiators will reduce the harmful effects of sequestration and represents a positive step in the right direction, but still doesn’t make the investments our country needs to get our country back on track.