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I don't think we should turn a blind eye to this issue so I brought it up. I was given the idea that Grand Rapids had "rapid growth". What do you think the reasons why Grand Rapids has such an increasing poverty rate? How come Grand Rapids scored worse than other similar areas?

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In the press article it said GR is still has less then half of the poverty population as some cites, but it was so low a few years ago, that now it looks like poverty is out of control. But in a down economy in a down state, it was bound to go up, and Detroit didn't fare too much better. But I don't see a way to lower the poverty population until we can get more jobs.

Link to Article:Poverty article

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I did find this interesting comparison. In January 2000, the number of employed in the GR Metro area was 385,284. The latest figure in Nov. 09 was 350,000, a loss of about 35,000 jobs.


When you look at the Brookings report that this article is based on, the number of "poor" in the suburban GR area had grown by 31,822 from 2000 - 2008. Brookings report was mainly focused on poverty rising across the country in the suburbs.


So I would say the increase in poverty is directly related to the increase in unemployment, since those numbers are so close to each other. So more jobs = less poverty. The global recession and the automotive industry turmoil has definitely hit us hard, no doubt.

So what do we need to do to get more jobs in West Michigan? What are cities like Des Moines and Indianapolis doing right that we're not doing (keeping the comparison to the Midwest)?

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