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Poverty Up, Incomes Down in New Jersey [AUDIO]

New data from the U.S. Census Bureau served as proof that New Jersey residents aren’t feeling much of an economic recovery just yet.

poverty
Spencer Platt, Getty Images

While the poverty rate in 2011 was nearly unchanged nationwide from the year before, the number of Garden State residents living below the poverty level jumped from 10.7% to 11.4%. An estimated 57,000 more people entered the ranks of the impoverished, bringing the state’s total to approximately 988,000.

  • READ the full report from the U.S. Census Bureau

“The latest figures confirm that hundreds of thousands of New Jerseyans and their children remain embedded in poverty, and their numbers grow larger each day,” said Melville D. Miller Jr., president of Legal Services of New Jersey.

LSNJ said the number of people in poverty in the Garden State is now at the highest level in at least 30 years. Also, the state’s poverty numbers actually spiked more since the end of the recession than during the downturn.

Allan Lichtenstein, director of LSNJ’s Poverty Research Institute, said the rising rate comes as no surprise.

“With an unemployment rate remaining above 9% throughout 2011, coupled with ever-increasing living costs in New Jersey, we can expect mounting poverty,” Lichtenstein said.

Nationwide, the poverty rate dipped one-tenth of a percent.

The state and nation each experienced a slight dip in real median household income. In 2011, New Jersey’s average was calculated at $62,338, compared to $50,054 in the United States.

The percentage of uninsured residents also dipped on both a state and national level.

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