Families Struggling on Labor Day

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

An advocacy group says Michigan's low-income working families need more help. The Michigan League for Human Services says many of those families are having trouble making ends meet with the jobs now available in the state. The organization claims four out of six occupations with the highest employment in Michigan in May 2006 paid median hourly wages below poverty level for a family of four. Those occupations are retail salespeople, cashiers, food preparation and service workers, and waiters and waitresses. The League is calling for higher subsidies for child care, expanding education and training programs and making health insurance more accessible to low-income working families.


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  • by kalie Location: cambria on Sep 4, 2007 at 06:54 AM
    provery amounts is lower than 40,000 much lower.out of the trillians of tax dollars collected, only 9% goes to social welfare programs.which is spread out all over the states. gov.wages, milatary,spying,national forest protection,upkeep of the white house,research,top secert things,food to other countries,the wars, ect. the list is so long.these things get more attention than social programs.so a family of 4 probably gets around 20,000 a year to live on.there's just no way to make it is there?
  • by mary Location: bronson mi on Sep 4, 2007 at 06:38 AM
    for a family of 4 proverty level is around 20,516.a year.wow.by the time you average out rent,childcare,home heatig ,lights,water-sewer,groceries,car ins.,clothing,gas to drive,and thoes unexpected things,you need at least23,500. a year to scrape by.some low income people do get the food card with some kind of medical card. helps but- who knows what the government is thinking.but food cards and medical cards,helps keep things going.doctors,stores,hospitals ect.by the low income families spending them.fare or not it's just that way.rembemer,everything keeps going up but average wages.does this make sense.and with jobs leaving the states,345 people applying for 10 jobs give employers an edge on who they hire and the wages they pay.want a job take what you get "deal" what can we do.
  • by Tom Location: Jackson on Sep 3, 2007 at 06:26 PM
    I agree that it's a shame that these occupations don't earn more than they do. However, the reality is obvious - these businesses can't afford to pay 'above poverty' wages. What's the 'poverty' line now anyway? The government publishes a myriad of statistics associated with 'poverty' in their annual reports, but never really nail it down by defining an absolute income number as 'The Poverty Line'. I think, by my analysis of the Federal government's report of a couple weeks ago, it's above $40,000. I hate to break this to you, but no business owner who would employ people in the above listed jobs can afford to pay $25.00 per hour or near that to get these people above the 'Poverty' level. Not unless customers of these businesses would be willing to pay $5.00/gallon for gas, $6.00 for a gallon of milk, $5.50 for a hamburger, $40.00 for an entree in a restaurant, etc. Instead of the MLHS whining about why people are 'underpaid', why not encourage them to further their education?
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