Washington, D.C. – Bread for the World today released its 2018 Hunger Report, The Jobs Challenge: Working to End Hunger by 2030. The report offers Congress a menu of policies that would improve job opportunities for low-income workers, and argues that improving job opportunities is crucial to overcoming hunger and poverty.
“Wages have been stagnant for decades – meaning that workers are earning less, inequality is rising, and families can’t make ends meet,” said Rev. David Beckmann, president of Bread for the World. “Fortunately, Congress can take steps to improve job opportunities.”
The report’s recommendations include investing in the country’s infrastructure (with a focus on broadband access in rural communities and public transportation in cities); increasing the minimum wage; criminal justice reform that would mean fewer people in prison and more people in the job market; and immigration reform that would allow undocumented immigrants to move into better jobs and contribute more to our economy.
“The costs of low-paying jobs are all around us,” Beckmann said. “In health care costs, in safety-net programs, and in rising levels of concentrated poverty. People don’t want to live on handouts. What they want are good paying jobs with dignity.”
Investments in human infrastructure, especially early in life, through child nutrition and high-quality childcare, deliver some of the biggest returns of all.
“Extreme inequality in the distribution of income growth has increased inequality in political influence,” Beckmann said. “This fall’s elections give us an opportunity to choose political leaders who will improve job opportunity in America.”
“Some of the recommendations in this report already have bipartisan support and could become law in the next Congress,” Beckmann said.