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Mass. ranks 5th on list of poor working women in US

Sayra Alemany high fives her daughter Ly'eisha, 7, (L) for a job well done on her homework with her at their home in Boston, Massachusetts February 11, 2014. (Jessica Rinaldi For The Boston Globe)
Sayra Alemany high fives her daughter Ly'eisha, 7, left for a job well done on her homework with her at their home in Boston. Alemany enrolled in a Crittenton Women’s Union program in 2012 and is now studying radiology at Bunker Hill Community College.Jessica Rinaldi for The Boston Globe

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Massachusetts has one of the highest concentrations of poor, working women, a new study shows, with nearly half of the state’s low-income households headed by single mothers struggling in low-wage jobs.

These women are falling farther behind in the state’s technology-driven economy, which increasingly rewards education and skills, but provides the poor with few opportunities to gain the types of professional certificates and degrees needed to succeed, according to the study by the Working Poor Families Project, a national initiative to strengthen policies that help low-income households. The women must juggle low-paying jobs — sometimes more than one — with child care and other responsibilities as they try to meet expenses, making it nearly impossible to obtain higher education and land better jobs.

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