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Archive for the ‘Economic Security & Advancement’ Category

aecf-kidscountdatabookcover-2014The Annie E. Casey Foundation has been tracking child well-being in their annual KIDS COUNT Data Book for the past 25 years. The data in the 2014 report continues to measure indicators in four domains: 1) Economic Well-being, 2) Education, 3) Health, and 4) Family and Community. The figures are based on data as recent as 2012.

This year, Oklahoma fell to 39th overall in Child Well-Being in the KIDS COUNT state profiles. Terry Smith, the president and CEO of the Oklahoma Institute for Child Advocacy, was quoted in the Oklahoman as saying

“After a brief improvement in the rankings due to the recession’s impacts on the rest of the nation, Oklahoma has begun to fall again as the overall economy improves.”

Smith went on to say (more…)

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America Saves, the organization that coordinates the annual America Saves Week , is working with Money Smart Week on a public awareness campaign that began April 5th. Money Smart Week seeks to connect providers of financial education to consumers who want to better manage their personal finances.

money smart weekThe need to connect consumers with financial resources is clearly there, as Americans continue to face challenges saving money and paying bills even as the country continues a slow economic recovery. In February, Stephen Brobeck, Executive Director of the Consumer Federation of America, discussed the results of the America Saves’ annual survey saying,

Only about one-third of Americans are living within their means and think they are prepared for the long term financial future. One-third are living within their means but are often not prepared for this long term future. And one-third are struggling to live within their means.”

(more…)

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It’s been a slow recovery. With the January release of CFED’s annual 2014 Assets and Opportunity Scorecard, we have further proof of this fact. The report, Treading Water in the Deep End, shows many American families are financially insecure, and this includes a growing number of Oklahomans.

2013_scorecardIn Oklahoma, it is estimated 49% of households live in a persistent state of financial insecurity, with no little or no savings to cover emergencies. This is up from last year’s estimate of 43.8% of Oklahomans who were considered “liquid asset poor.” Poor showings in areas related to income, assets, healthcare and education contributed to Oklahoma’s overall rank of 31, compared to other states.

The Assets and Opportunity Scorecard examines the financial security of Americans by assessing states based on 69 different outcome measures. The measures are grouped into five broader categories: 1) Financial Assets and Income, 2) Business and Jobs; (more…)

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The 2014 Tax Season will soon be in full swing.  This year there have been changes to CAP Tulsa’s Tax program, and we wanted raise awareness so Tulsans can easily find volunteer tax sites and other resources.

Beginning with the 2014 tax preparation season, CAP Tulsa will no longer offer free tax preparation publicly to Tulsa families. The CAP Tax service will only be available to families participating in other CAP Tulsa services, including its early childhood education program and those who live in the Eugene Field and Kendall Whittier Neighborhoods in conjunction with our Neighborhood Revitalization initiative.211 postit

The Tulsa Area United Way has been working with CAP Tulsa to garner interest from other Tulsa agencies, with the long-term goal of building a coalition in Tulsa to continue offering this vital service.

For the 2013 filing season, the United Way has been successful in locating agencies to host tax sites open to the public. Anyone seeking assistance for free tax preparation in 2014 can call the Tulsa Area United Way helpline at 2-1-1 or visit http://www.211oklahomahelpline.org/to find tax websites or options near you.

Anyone who is interested in filing their own tax return online can do so by visiting (more…)

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An estimated 681,834 Oklahomans are currently uninsured, according to data from the Census Bureau’s American Community Survey (ACS). The Tulsa World’s recent coverage of the issue states that in many Tulsa County neighborhoods, as few as 1 in 3 residents have health insurance coverage.

U.S. Census Bureau, Public Information Office

U.S. Census Bureau, Public Information Office

Statewide, approximately 18.6% of individuals in Oklahoma are uninsured. To put this in perspective, the 2008-2012 ACS Health Insurance Coverage estimates put Oklahoma in seventh place for the highest rate of uninsured individuals in the country. Texas has the highest, at 23% uninsured. Massachusetts has the lowest rate, with only 4% of their population uninsured.

Education and income are among the factors that predict insurance coverage. Around 62% of our state’s uninsured adults have attained the equivalent of a high school diploma or less. Educational attainment is a contributing factor to household income, and lower incomes seem to be a trend among the uninsured. Nearly 65% of Oklahoma’s uninsured, an estimated 440,072, live in households with an annual income of (more…)

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Poverty is not isolated to families where adults are unemployed or underemployed. According to 2011 data from the National Center for Children in Poverty, 33% of children living in poverty in Oklahoma have at least one parent who works full-time, year-round.

Oklahoma also has one of the highest proportions of hourly paid workers earning at or below the federal minimum wage in the country, at 7.2%. Only Idaho and Texas have higher rates. And escaping poverty level wages is not as easy as applying for a new job. The Alliance for a Just Society released a report December 4th that found,

“For every projected job opening above a low-wage threshold of $15 an hour, there were 7 job-seekers in 2012.”

Furthermore, while jobs lost during the Great Recession were not exclusive to any one sector, a 2012 report from the National Employment Law Project confirms most job losses were concentrated in mid-wage occupations. In contrast, the recovery has seen gains in the number of lower-wage occupations.

Jobs Lost in Recession_ NELP

Low-wage occupations that increased during and after the recession include “retail salespersons, food preparation workers, laborers and freight workers, (more…)

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