Push down to poverty

In Coatesville, the CareerLinks people are working hard to get jobs for the unemployed. Even jobs for the least educated are difficult to find and Cheryl Spaulding, who leads a suburban network of church-based support groups for the under and unemployed, has a theory about why this is happening.

"In the cities, you are talking about a younger population that's unemployed," said Spaulding, a founder of the original Joseph's People group that began in Downingtown. "In the suburbs, you are talking about older people who are unemployed."

I called Spaulding to get a reaction to the report on Pennsylvania's unemployed released Wednesday by the state's department of labor and industry. Because of her work, Spaulding is in regular contact with unemployed people as well as the folks at the Coatesville office of CareerLink, the state-based job search system. "The reason they can't get their people employed is because my people have the jobs," she said. "My highly-educated master’s degree people have the jobs that should be handled by young people who have high school degrees or who are graduating for community college."

She describe it as a push-down. "That's why you are seeing the poverty rate escalate," she said. "You have the middle class sinking down" and the weight of it is pushing the lower class into an even worse situation.

You can read more about the report in my story in the Philadelphia Inquirer. To see the full report, click the link to the department and click again on the right hand side of the page.