Though it may be surprising, the U.S. poverty rate is slowly declining. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, “The official poverty rate in 2018 was 11.8 percent, down 0.5 percentage points from 12.3 percent in 2017. This is the fourth consecutive annual decline in poverty. Since 2014, the poverty rate has fallen 3.0 percentage points, from 14.8 percent to 11.8 percent.”
Worldwide, 2019 began with the lowest amount of extreme poverty ever recorded in human history—less than 8%.
This is great news for the United Nations Development Program, which set a list of 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to be met by 2030. These goals are “a universal call to action to end poverty, protect the planet, and ensure that all people enjoy peace and prosperity.”
In particular, the very first SDG covers the topic of poverty. At FlexJobs we believe in the power of remote work to help meet many of the UN’s goals. Here’s a closer look at goal one from the UN’s list and how remote work can play (and is playing) a role in ending poverty.
Goal 1. End poverty in all its forms everywhere.
Target 1.2: By 2030, reduce at least by half the proportion of men, women, and children of all ages living in poverty in all its dimensions according to national definitions.
Flexibility can be used to better accommodate people who have historically been left out of the traditional workforce and often relegated to either unemployment or low-paying jobs.
Whether it’s due to medical issues, mental health issues, a disability, a rural location without many job opportunities, or lack of access to transportation, many people are unable to find jobs that can financially meet their needs.
For example, those with a disability may be unable to drive themselves to their job and work a standard eight-hour day. Those who need or choose to live in a rural location may not be able find a job in their town that pays a living wage. These barriers to employment can be eliminated or reduced with flexible work.
Jobs that hire people to work remotely, whether statewide, nationwide, or worldwide, can allow job seekers to have a larger pool of work options. The talented worker with a disability who can’t get to work can suddenly use their skills in a remote job working from home. The worker who was laid off and can’t find work in a small town can look for remote jobs located anywhere.
FlexJobs member Tracy is a perfect example of how a remote job met her needs with a disability:
“I am off disability! I can work full-time and contribute to society. I do not have to worry about finding someone to drive me to work. I am safe to practice and can continue to utilize 22 years of nursing experience. I am fully insured! Even when my legs are hurting or frozen up, it does not stop me from walking across the hallway to my office and sitting down to work.” —Tracy S.
De Che, another FlexJobs member, successfully found remote work via our services spent five years trying to find work that paid a living wage. She suffered through homelessness, joblessness, and low-paying roles that could not support her. She was able to find a full-time, remote job that lets her work from home and pulled her out of poverty:
“Throughout the years my husband and I had been looking for a job. In fact, it was so bad we actually went homeless and were living out of our car. … As soon as I signed up [for FlexJobs], redid my resume, and started on the applications, I was getting jobs left and right. All in the past two weeks, I’ve had five people email or call me for an interview and Amazon actually asked me to work for them, no interview required. It was miraculous!” —DeChe E.
Another FlexJobs reader has found renewed hope after learning about remote work after a lay off:
“My layoff was something I’ll never forget for the rest of my days. Laid off purely for economic reasons (yes, it was 2008), I couldn’t take it personally. … It was a sudden, unexpected, difficult blow to me.
“I selectively applied to over 900 positions (nationwide) over the next five years, to no avail. Ultimately, I had to file bankruptcy, and I lost my home of 20 years to a foreclosure. I had to resort to moving to a different state which had more job opportunities, but struggled while living on half social security. With no healthcare for several years, my health began to fail rapidly. I had a heart attack, and five heart procedures. I developed another debilitating pulmonary and endocrine disease. I became homeless, and lived in my car.
“This isn’t a pity party on my behalf. Being laid off set my entire life on a downward spin, despite my efforts to find work. However, I refused to give up, even then. I worked myself into a subsidized housing program, I found food banks to help me subsist, and I discovered FlexJobs.
“Now my hopes are renewed, I sleep soundly (and safely) at night, and every day I comb through FlexJobs seeking out training and/or administrative telecommuting jobs. … But FlexJobs has renewed my positive and optimistic attitude at a time when many people just crumble. I am positive that I am going to find something soon.” —Michael Miller
Learn More about Remote Work’s Impact on the SDGs
Ending poverty is just one of the SDGs that remote work can help aid, but FlexJobs has a full break down on how remote work can assist with many of the UN’s SDGs. Check it out for more details.
Photo Credit: bigstockphoto.com
Tags: telecommuting benefits
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