Report finds many Georgia families are working poor - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Report finds many Georgia families are working poor

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By Len Kiese - bio | email

October 14, 2008

ALBANY, GA (WALB) - There are more signs of financial stress. Many are working harder and falling further behind.

A new study shows 42-million Americans are living in families that don't earn enough money to meet even basic needs. The study also found that 30-percent of Georgia's working families are working poor.

Keisha Parker works hard. 40 hours a week are spent at work, not just for herself, but for her daughter Lexy.

"Yeah I've been a single Mom for eight years and going on strong," said Parker.

But being strong for two people isn't always easy, especially when it comes to finances. "You have your kind of stressful moments where you're like 'how am I going to pay this or how am I going to pay that?'," said Parker.

So Parker does what she can with what she has. Sometimes one job isn't enough. "More than likely I'm going to be working a second job for the other bills so that way I can have some type of breathing room," said Parker.

A new national report called "Still Working Hard, Still Falling Short" sheds light on Georgia's working families. The report says Georgia has the 17th highest rate of working poor.

It found 350,000 working families in Georgia were low-income in 2006 and 56-percent of low-income working families have housing costs greater than one-third of their income. That's why Parker spends wisely.

"Budget," said Parker, "just budget and don't spend too much on stuff you don't have to." With that philosophy, she's far from poor but says she can relate to the title of the report. She's definitely working hard but falling short. "I can relate to that," said Parker.

She says she couldn't do it without the help of her mother and she has plans to venture out on her own soon. The first step is college.

"Major in nursing or something like that, something in the medical field," said Parker. That way she and her daughter have the means to survive any economic environment.

The report also shows that 40-percent of Georgia's low-income working families have at least one parent without health insurance.  

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