By CHAO YAN
Capital News Service
LANSING — While state officials celebrate the plunge of Michigan’s unemployment rate from its 14.9 percent peak in 2009 to around 5 percent today, more than a million families are missing the party. Some 40 percent of Michigan households, or 1.53 million, are considered as either living in poverty or among the state’s working poor, according to a new report from the Michigan Association of United Ways. That group includes both the 15 percent of households living beneath the federal poverty level and the 25 percent of struggling households that earn too much to meet poverty standards but not enough to afford basic household needs. The United Way, a nongovernmental health and human services provider, reached these conclusions after studying income and employment in the state from 2007 to 2015. According to the report, the average 2015 cost for necessities including housing, child care, food, health care and transportation for a family of four ranged from $43,920 in Osceola County to $64,320 in Macomb County – well above the family federal poverty line of $24,250.