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Poverty rate soars in hard-hit Inland Empire

October 7, 2010 |  1:24 pm

The Inland Empire has seen a significant increase in poverty since the recession began, according to a new study released Thursday.

The Brookings report, based on Census data, found that the Inland Empire's poverty rate rose from 11.8% in 2007 to 15.4% in 2009.

The Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario area saw a 3.4% increase in the poverty rate over that three-year span, according to the report.

Brookings said that was the third-highest increase for a suburban area, behind Lakeland, Fla., and Charleston, S.C.

The Inland Empire has been particularly hard-hit by the economic downturn, which was fueled by the bursting of the region's once red-hot real estate bubble. In Riverside County, the unemployment rate is now 14.8%, and a new report finds it will be several years before it goes back into single digits.

-- Shelby Grad

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