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Census Bureau: MT Women Last in Pay

August 27, 2008

Helena, MT – A woman's work is never done, nor is it worth much salary-wise, at least in Montana. New data from the U.S. Census Bureau on income, poverty and health insurance show Montana is last in the nation when it comes to the earning power of women who work full-time. The report also shows that poverty is persistent nationwide, and Montana is no exception.

Ed Shelleby with the Children's Defense Fund says that, with the current sour economy, now is the time to help women and working families by making changes in tax policy.

"It is critical we expand the Earned Income Tax Credit, which helps low-income families simply makes ends meet, as well as making the Child Tax Credit fully refundable."

Critics point out that such tax changes cost money, and budgets are tight right now.

Nationwide, the number of children living in poverty is up by 500,000. The number of people without health insurance improved slightly, which is explained by more people tapping into federal and state insurance coverage.

Robert Greenstein with the Center on Budget Policy and Priorities says big improvements should have been expected because the economy was still growing when the data was collected.

"The data are now clear that for poverty and median income, this was the worst economic expansion on record."

The complete Census Bureau report can be found at
http://www.census.gov.

Deborah Smith/Steve Powers, Public News Service - MT