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Poverty Levels Rise, Indicating Metro Area Slow To Recover From Recession

The Phoenix metro area is still recovering from the Great Recession. That’s according to a report from the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey.

From 2010 to 2013, the median household income decreased from $53,473 to $51,847 in 2013 dollars. Meanwhile, the poverty level in the metro area increased from 16.3 percent to 17.6 percent.

Tom Rex of the ASU’s W.P. Carey School of Business said typically during expansion Arizona’s growth rate is a lot higher than the national average.

"Well, this time around, we had a deeper recession, and yet our recovery is no faster than nation, which has put us way behind the nation in terms of recovering the jobs," Rex said. "It’s basically it’s never happened before in Arizona."

The report also measured the percentage of individuals with health insurance. The number of uninsured stayed steady, but Rex said with the introduction of the Affordable Care Act, those figures have likely changed.

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Kathy Ritchie has 20 years of experience reporting and writing stories for national and local media outlets — nearly a decade of it has been spent in public media.