It's a chilling statistic; the national poverty level is primed to reach its highest rate since 1965. The situation was so dire back then that President Lyndon Johnson felt moved to launch the War on Poverty. But its advances are at risk of falling by the wayside as the national poverty rate is expected climb as high as 15.7 percent this year, according to a survey of more than a dozen economists by The Associated Press. The news comes during a particularly grim week in the United States, when so much of the news is dominated by the massacre at the movie theater in Aurora, Colo. Below are the week's top reads for jobs stories:
It's The Jobs
The AP study cited structural changes to the labor market as driving a return of poverty rates not seen in nearly half a century. Among the factors: globalization, automation, outsourcing, immigration and a decrease in unionization. Whether the government should take on an activist role, or step back and let the market take over, is of course a debate that's at the heart of this year's presidential election. But the issue is pressing for the nation's workers: Any improvements to the post-recession unemployment rate has largely been thanks to people being discouraged from looking for work, the economists say, and Americans shouldn't expect the jobless rate to dip below 6 percent for several years to come.
The poverty rate study was joined by another report from the AP, in conjunction with Moody's Analytics, which found that 43 states have yet to recover jobs lost in the downturn. The report was released to mark the three years that have passed since the end of the recession. And it appears that the only states that have been able to show jobs growth were ones with robust energy sectors, like North Dakota, Texas and Alaska.
Tough Times In Tech
Cuts at tech firms through the first half of the year means that they are seeing their worst numbers in three years, according to a new study released by global outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas Inc. The cuts are affecting all divisions, from computers and electronics to mobile, but roughly half of the 51,529 jobs lost were at giant Hewlett-Packard. The overall cuts represent a 260 percent leap from the first half of 2011 for the sector.
Study: Stress Proves Unhealthy, Again
The Women's Health Study was released this week. And in tracking more than 22,000 female health professionals for the last 10 years, the study revealed new proof that stress can take a physical toll on workers. Women who rated their job strain as "high" were 67 percent more likely to have had a heart attack, or 38 percent more likely to have a stroke or high blood pressure as compared to women who rated their job stress as "low." The numbers were better for women who could make their own work schedules.
The Future Has Promise, Social Media Be Thy Name
Not everything is getting worse. A sector of American technology that is growing -- social media -- is expected to see a 21 percent jump in jobs over the next year, according to new data provided by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. And as reported by the Seattle-Post Intelligencer, one such company, Paid Social Media Corp., is actively seeking the following groups of people for the jobs: work-at-home moms, unemployed workers and college students.
Don't Miss: Companies Hiring Now
More From AOL Jobs
- Lunch Break: What You Need To Know About Getting A Job This Week
- 4 Skills That Every Job Hunter Needs, Especially Now
- How To Get The Most Out Of References In A Social Media World
Looking for a job? Click here to get started.