Homelessness and the high cost of living – Christos Makridis

Christos Makridis, digital fellow at the MIT Sloan Initiative on the Digital Economy

From The Hill

The recent spotlight on homelessness and poverty in BaltimoreLos Angeles and other major cities highlights a growing challenge in urban America: the rising cost of living.

The economy is booming by nearly all accounts. Year-to-year real GDP growth has been at least 2 percent since President Trump was elected, the unemployment rate is at its lowest point since 1969 and year-to-year nominal wages are growing faster than they have since the 2008-09 Great Recession. But a handful of metropolitan areas are experiencing growing rates of homelessness and labor market exits.

For example, California’s population growth in 2018 was the slowest in recorded history. And, while the overall number of homeless people is at its lowest point since 2007, according to the latest statistics from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), the number of unsheltered people has grown from 175,399 in 2014 to 194,467 in 2018.

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