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Holiday Gifts That Give Back December 19
For a large share of Americans, the U.S. labor market no longer works as a reliable way to build a stable career and support their families.
This was true before the job losses of the current recession (as of October 2011, the country had 6.3 million fewer jobs since the start of the recession in December 2007). And unless there are structural changes in the economy, it will be true again once the recession has passed.
Down on the bottom rungs of the economic ladder, where too many people who once had middle-income careers now reside, the real value of wages when adjusted for inflation has been declining for years.
One in four jobs does not pay enough to lift a family of four out of poverty. The federal government tries to compensate low-wage workers through programs such as the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC).
Without this and other forms of assistance, many more working families would be struggling to put food on the table and pay for housing, utilities, health care, child care, transportation to and from work, and more. Many families are forced to survive by living under a mounting pile of debt.
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