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The Struggles of Low-Income Job-Seekers

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch (10/17/09) examines the difficulties poor people face when searching for new jobs, including computer access and transportation:

Transportation problems and the absence of a computer in the home, [Washington University social welfare professor Mark] Rank said, are companion obstacles standing between the poor and meaningful employment.

Rank points out that it is hard enough for low-income urban residents to reach Internet access sites.

But urban dwellers, at least, have some access to public transportation.

Not so the rural poor, said Rank, citing a study that determined that 40 percent of the country’s rural areas are not served by public transportation.

Compounding the problem, the study also revealed that 57 percent of low-income rural residents lack access to a vehicle in operating condition …

The “Utopian conversation” about the benefits of cyberspace … “masks just how serious this problem is. And there is no one looking at it.”

For a deeper look at rural poverty and how it is assessed, read “A Critical Review of Rural Poverty Literature: Is There Truly a Rural Effect?,” (pdf) published by the Institute for Research on Poverty.

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