Chief Economist of Moody’s Analytics Talks Philadelphia’s Poverty Rate

The Philadelphia skyline as seen from Kensington. Image via Heather Khalifa, File Photo, The Philadelphia Inquirer.

Despite unemployment being as low as it has ever been with jobs and wages both up, Philadelphia still has one of the highest poverty rates of any major city in the nation, writes Mark Zandi, chief economist of Moody’s Analytics in West Chester, for The Philadelphia Inquirer.

Close to one in four residents have incomes below the poverty line. Nationwide, the rate is about half of Philadelphia’s.

Zandi and his colleagues from Moody’s Analytics looked at the main factors that are causing the astonishing poverty rate in the city.

They found that Philadelphia falls short of the rest of the country for graduating its youth from high school, which is critical to escaping poverty. I

t is also more difficult to find work for the disabled, who are more likely to stay stuck in this sad situation.

Another big factor is the increase in the amount of families led by single mothers and people living on their own.

And while there is no easy solution to the poverty crisis in Philadelphia, there are things that could be done to help. These include fixing the public school system and making it easier to build affordable housing.

Read more about the issue at The Philadelphia Inquirer here.

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