Great Recession Far From Over

A new Pew Research Center study highlights some startling statistics about the recession, which last week’s dismal jobs report indicates is far from over.

Among the Pew findings:

  • More than half of the nation’s working adults have been hit directly by the downturn 
  • Four in 10 Americans have tapped into their savings to make ends meet
  • 25% have borrowed money to survive 
  • 1 in 10 has had to move in with a family member

Locally, there’s no doubt that thousands of Central Floridians are still hurting.  Calls for help to United Way 2-1-1 hit an all-time record in June — 15,417– with utility, rent and food assistance ranking as the top three requests. Seventy-four percent of June callers needed help for the first time, leaving little reason to believe things are getting better.  

More troubling is the number of people who are losing unemployment benefits, but still can’t find work.  With regional unemployment at 11.4%, and growth and construction – the lifeblood of our local economy — remaining flat, most in the local nonprofit community are bracing for additional waves of need.  

According to the Pew study, 6 in 10 Americans believe their situation will improve by next year, which is something we all hope will come true. In the meantime, we need to stay focused and be willing to help.

What do you think? Is the local economy getting better? Have you or someone you know needed help to survive? Are you likely to increase or decrease your charitable giving this year? Please comment and let us know.


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