Study: 2.3 million children live with long-term jobless parent

A child was three times more likely to be living with a long-term unemployed parent during 2013 than in 2007, according to new data from the Urban Institute.

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Urban says that, on average, roughly 2.3 million children were living with a parent who had been looking for work for at least six months at any given time in 2013– significantly higher than in 2007, the year the last recession started.

The new data comes as Congress continues to battle over whether to extend emergency jobless benefits, which expired for around 1.3 million unemployed people late last year.

Almost five percent of children living in Georgia and Illinois, and 5.5 percent of children living in Rhode Island, were living with a long-term jobless parent – among the highest rate in the country.

In Washington, D.C., more than seven percent of children lived with a parent that had been seeking work for at least six months.

On the other side of the spectrum, around one percent of children were living with at least one long-term unemployed parent in North Dakota, South Dakota and Vermont – states that have among the lowest jobless rates in the country.

According to Urban, children can be hurt in multiple ways by living with a long-term unemployed parent. Around 35 percent of long-term unemployed parents fall below the poverty line, and Urban says studies also suggest that a child’s school performance can be hurt.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said late last week that he’s now open to considering GOP amendments to a measure to extend the expired jobless benefits. The Senate bogged down for much of last week debating a potential extension.