New census figures show Wisconsin's poverty rate rose 1.8% points between 2003 and 2004.
The Census Bureau used two-year averages to come up with the numbers, showing the state's poverty rate in 2003 was 9.2 percent. In 2004 it was eleven percent.
Charity Eleson of the Wisconsin Council on Children and Families says the numbers show people with low skill and education levels are struggling to bounce back from the national economic slowdown.
She says the state must increase access to its welfare-to-work, or W-2, program and expand the type of training participants receive to fill niches in the workplace.
But state Representative Dean Kaufert of Neenah, a co-chairman of the Legislature's budget writing committee, says government can only do so much.