US faces “urgent need” to tackle poverty – IMF

WASHINGTON, June 22 (KUNA) — The International Monetary Fund (IMF) said Wednesday that there is an “urgent need” for the US to tackle poverty as it faces “potentially significant longer-term challenges” to its growth.
“In the latest data, one in seven Americans is living in poverty, including one in five children and one in three female-headed households,” read an IMF review of the US economy.
The findings indicated to “falling labor force participation, an increasingly polarized income distribution, high levels of poverty, and weak productivity.
“Around 40 percent of those in poverty are working. A more generous earned income tax credit (including eligibility for workers without dependents, those under 25, and older workers that are not yet eligible for social security) combined with a higher federal minimum wage would help alleviate poverty.” In order to address this, the IMF recommended an increase to the minimum wage, an upgrade of social programs for the unemployed poor, the need to deepen and improve family-friendly benefits including paid family leave and childcare assistance and to increase funding for job training.
Despite the data, the IMF said that “the United States economy is, overall, in good shape.
“A total of 2.4 million new jobs were created over the past year and unemployment has fallen to 4.7 percent, its lowest level since the eve of the ‘Great Recession’,” it said. (end) sd.hb