Danziger comments on lack of economic growth for the poor in Michigan

September 19, 2013

The Detroit Free Press reports that new census data for Michigan shows an increase in households receiving retirement pay, while overall household income and poverty rates remain stagnant. Sheldon Danziger, former director of the National Poverty Center at the University of Michigan, notes that these new statistics are not surprising, given that economic growth has not benefited the poor for decades.

The 23.1% of households receiving retirement income puts Michigan in a statistical tie with the top states in the country. This is an increase since 2008. The census also measured the poverty rate (17.4%), which remains higher than in 2008 and well below the national average (15.9%). Danziger, one of the experts quoted in the article, states:

"For many years, economic growth is not trickling down to the middle class, much less the poor. In a world in which full-time full-year workers are having a hard time, it is not surprising that in the aftermath of the most severe recession since the Great Depression that the poor are not doing that well."