October 2nd, 2009

Alabama’s poverty rate dropped more than any other state’s in 2008 – but this improvement is likely to be temporary, given the state’s high rates of unemployment.

Here’s a rundown from the Associated Press via the Tuscaloosa News:

The numbers gathered by the U.S. Census reported that the number of people below the poverty line fell by 47,000 to 712,835. The drop was larger than any other state.

“The news in 2008 shows that Alabama was doing the right things,” said Kimble Forrister, director ofAlabama Arise. “We were creating jobs.”

However, according to Forrister, the figures collected in 2008 reflected the poverty level before the recession hit.

“At the time our unemployment rate was better than the rest of the nation.”

Due to the recession, poverty levels will likely follow the rise in unemployment rates, resulting in a significant increase in poverty for 2009. Nationwide unemployment currently stands at 10.4 percent this September with Wilcox County being 25.4 percent.