First Focus Policy Recommendations Living on the EdgeWhy are these working families unable to get ahead? And what are the implications of this struggle for their children? In her paper, Living on the Edge: America‟s Low-Earning Families, Sophia Parker traces the current predicament of these households to three central issues: rising inequality in the United States; stagnating wages in the middle of the economy; and an increase in low-quality, precarious work.

In making the connection between the above issues and the steady increase in child poverty in America over the last decade, Parker explains, “it is a reminder that in today‟s economy, low paid work is as significant as unemployment in explaining child poverty”. And to effectively tackle child poverty, it is important to consider “standards of living as well as income alone”.

Rising inequality and an increased prevalence of low-quality, low paid work pose a serious threat to today’s children and future generations. Parker’s thorough analysis of this challenge suggests a number of improvements that can be made to current policy.