Expert: Wisconsin wages can't lift some out of poverty

Published: Jun. 30, 2019 at 12:35 PM CDT
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An expert on poverty says Wisconsin should raise its minimum wage and provide more help for families who are struggling despite record low unemployment.

University of Wisconsin-Madison Professor Timothy Smeeding co-wrote a report that found Wisconsin's poverty rate has remained stagnant for nearly a decade, fluctuating between 10% and 11% from 2008 to 2017.

The federal government considers the poverty level for a family of four to be $25,750. The report's methodology determined Wisconsin's poverty threshold for a two-adult, two-child household to be $27,241, because of the state's low cost of living.

Wisconsin Public Radio reports that the state has seen record low unemployment in recent years.

Smeeding says work alone isn't enough to lift some families out of poverty. He suggests raising the minimum wage and boosting state support.