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If Wisconsin’s economy is recovering, there are a lot of people who aren’t sharing in it.

That’s the conclusion that can be reached by sobering census information released last month.

The poverty rate has grown from 10.4 percent in 2008 to 13.2 percent in 2012 and 13.5 percent in 2013. The child poverty rate is more discouraging — it rose from 13.3 percent in 2008 to 18.2 percent in 2012 and 18.4 percent in 2013. The median household income, inflation adjusted, has dropped from $54,210 in 2009 to $51,467 in 2013.

As Ken Taylor, executive director of the Wisconsin Council on Children and Families, said, “Recession or no recession, recovery or no recovery, we simply can’t accept three-quarters of a million Wisconsinites living in poverty as the ‘new normal.’”

Much attention is paid to the unemployment rate, which is dropping in the state, but it’s a misleading statistic for at least two reasons: It doesn’t account for how much the employed are being paid — less than at their former jobs — and it doesn’t account for people who have stopped looking for work.

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- - Volume: 2 - WEEK: 42 Date: 10/14/2014 9:07:56 AM -