Path to Ending Hunger in the U.S. is by Improving Job Opportunities for Low-Income Households
Reverend David Beckmann, President, Bread for the World
(Washington, D.C., Wednesday, April 11, 2018) – Bread for the World released its annual Hunger Report on Tuesday, April 10. The 2018 edition is titled The Jobs Challenge: Working to End Hunger by 2030. A global consensus has now formed that 2030 is an ambitious but attainable target date to end hunger in all countries.
- The Jobs Challenge argues that the only sustainable path to ending hunger in the United States is by improving job opportunities for low-income households. Decent jobs are also the best way to end hunger and extreme poverty in developing countries.
- Workers in low-paying jobs are vulnerable to a host of workplace indignities, from poverty-level wages and lack of benefits to wage theft and other labor violations.
- Even though unemployment is exceptionally low, millions of people in their prime working years, ages 25 to 54, have left the labor market.
- Public and private investment can do more to spur job creation in distressed communities and to connect job seekers to wider regional opportunities. The poorer a community, the less likely it is to have the infrastructure needed to reduce poverty and create jobs.
Here are some of the main recommendations in the report:
- Increase the minimum wage and link future regular increases to inflation.
- Enforce laws that protect workers against abusive labor practices such as wage theft.
- Guarantee paid family and medical leave for all workers.
- Protect the rights of workers to form unions.
- In metro areas, improve public transportation to connect job seekers in distressed communities with regional opportunities.
- In rural areas, invest in high-speed Internet to overcome barriers to jobs, education, and social services.
- Invest in improving the nation’s infrastructure to spur productivity growth and job creation.
- Continue U.S. assistance to help developing countries provide employment for their young populations and maintain progress against hunger and poverty.