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Study Shows More Oregonians Living In Poverty Even With Positive Economic Growth

Oregon Center for Public Policy.
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Credit Oregon Center for Public Policy.
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Despite economic growth, the number of Oregonians living in poverty is higher than it was during the 2008 recession. The Oregon Center for Public Policy has released poverty figures for 2013. KLCC’s Corinne Boyer has more.

More Oregonians live in poverty than in the state’s most populous city, Portland. The “Graphic View of Poverty in Oregon” study shows that 16.7 percent of Oregonians live below the federal poverty line. Juan Carlos Ordóñez is spokesman for the Oregon Center for Public Policy. He says the economy is not designed to spread prosperity widely and the gains from economic growth benefit few.

Ordóñez: “So what we need to do is raise the rules that govern the economy--raising the minimum wage, deciding that we are going to prioritize investments that create economic opportunity for all Oregonians. So investing in a great K-12 education system, investing so that we can make college more affordable for families.”

Ordóñez says measuring poverty trends is one of the first steps in identifying what recommendations can be made to law makers. The federal poverty line for a single person is just over 12 thousand dollars per year, and Ordóñez says that measure is badly out of date.

 

Copyright 2014 KLCC

Corrine Bayer
Corrine is a volunteer reporter from University of Oregon School of Journalism and Communication.