Ending Hunger in America, 2014 Hunger Report Introduction - Page 12

INTRODUCTION 2 CHAPTER loss of so many public sector jobs after the recession. By March 2013, 744,000 public sector jobs had been lost since the end of the recession in June 2009, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal.24 March 2013 is when sequestration went into effect—the automatic budget cuts that are the result of the failure of Congress to negotiate a budget agreement by September 2011. It is important to note that sequestration was not designed as a strategy to reduce the deficit—it was intended as a threat that would force legislators to agree on a deficit reduction strategy. It was an ineffective threat, as it turned out. In July 2013, the Congressional Budget Office estimated that if the sequester continued throughout 2014, it would result in combined public and private sector job losses of between 300,000 and 1.6 million.25 A self-inflicted wound such as this is obviously not speeding recovery from the recession, nor is it improving the government’s capacity to fight hunger. Read about how Bread for the World is working to counter the effects of sequestration on the nation’s most vulnerable people on page 44. Figure i.8 Length of Time in Poverty Over a Two-Year Period, 2008-2009 Share of population below poverty threshold 60% 50 40 30 32.2% 20 20.1% 14.1% 10 0 4.6% At least one month Six months or more One year or more Two years Source: Lawrence Mishel, Josh Bivens, Elise Gould and Heidi Shierholz (2012), The State of Working America, 12th edition, Economic Policy Institute. EPI analysis of U.S. Census Bureau data. www.bread.org/institute? ? 2014 Hunger Report? 21 n