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Poverty in Mississippi: Study Shows Latinos Have Higher Unemployment, More in Poverty

JACKSON, Miss.–While new census data shows that poverty in America is decreasing slightly, the news for Mississippi is not so good. Twenty four percent of people in the state are living below the poverty level, said Dulce Gamboa, with Bread for the World. She said Latinos in the state are faring worse, with 32 percent in poverty.

“One of the main reasons for this is that the employment rate has been very high in the state,” she said.

Arkansas, Arizona, Louisiana and New Mexico also have high poverty rates, but none reach the 24 percent level. That puts Mississippi dead last.

The national poverty rate is at about 13 percent.

Gamboa said that voters need to consider that when heading to the polls.

“We need to support candidates that have planned to reduce the unemployment rate. We really need to work on improving the economy.”

She did not say whether or not her group had any particular candidates in mind in Mississippi, but did point News Mississippi to the Congressional Scorecard listed on the site bread.org.

That score card generally gives Democrats a favorable rating, while Republicans, like Mississippi’s Roger Wicker, get lower scores. Wicker got a 33 percent rating, while Thad Cochran got 44 percent.

One reason may be that Democrats have favored bills that would raise the minimum wage.

“Check their record and talk to their candidates and ask what their positions are on increasing employment and raising the minimum wage.”

The score card gives Rep. Bennie Thompson an 85 percent rating, while Rep. Steven Palazzo gets the lowest, at 15 percent.

You can see the score card here: http://www.bread.org/what-we-do/resources/elections/pdf/congressional-scorecard-booklet-2014-lores.pdf?__utma=1.123804414.1412761123.1412761123.1412761123.1&__utmb=1.2.10.1412761123&__utmc=1&__utmx=-&__utmz=1.1412761123.1.1.utmcsr=(direct)|utmccn=(direct)|utmcmd=(none)&__utmv=-&__utmk=74923154

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