According to new research from the US University of Chicago, Notre Dame and China’s Zhejiang University, America’s poverty rate increased by about 2 percent in the summer, with more than 7 million Americans falling below the line.
According to the study, the probability of termination of government aid programs increased, rising to 11.3 percent in September and October from 9.4 percent from April to June, which analyzed income level data from monthly US Census surveys.
Despite the decline in unemployment numbers, the current rate is almost half a percent higher than before the epidemic began. The study’s authors link this increase to the end of programs such as weekly $ 600 federal epidemic unemployment compensation (FPUC) payments and one-time incentive checks.
“Ways of coping are starting. The fact that some people have incomes is still down, which was causing a bigger problem before the epidemic.”
“We initially gave a lot of help because the epidemic had led to a drop in poverty rates,” said Bruce Mayer, a co-author at the University of Chicago Harris School of Public Policy and professor at the McCormick Foundation, who told NBC News. ” “People are running down their stock of savings if they had any. He already asked family and friends about borrowing money. Methods of combating them have started coming out. The fact that their income is still down was becoming a bigger and bigger problem before the epidemic. “
According to Meyer’s research, there was an increase in the poverty level in the month after the FPUC program ended in July, up from 9.3 percent the previous month.
This raises the question of whether poverty will continue to increase at the end of the remaining emergency relief program. Two major programs are scheduled to expire at the end of December: epidemic unemployment assistance, which provides benefits for people who would not normally qualify; And Epidemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation, which provides an additional 13 weeks of benefits for those who have used their regular unemployment insurance. In total, these programs currently support approximately 15 million Americans.
Co-author of a study and Gilbert F. “There are groups that continue to pay a steady price as a result of the epidemic, and I think it calls for some intervention,” said James Sullivan, an economics professor at Shaffer College. At the University of Notre Dame, told NBC News. “Either the labor market will have to improve for those groups, or it can come in the form of public policy.”
Along with unemployment, poverty has affected some Americans more than others. In the last few months, the poverty rate among blacks has increased by 5.4 percent, while among whites it is 1.4 percent. About half of the 7 million Americans who have fallen into poverty since May, Meyers said.
Although poverty rates for both women and men have increased almost equally in recent months, women continue to suffer at a higher rate. The study showed that the poverty rate for women in October was 12.1 percent, while it was 10.8 percent for men.
Sullivan said the low unemployment numbers do not show a clear picture of how Americans are moving at the moment.
“One thing is that millions of people have left the labor force,” he said, “because they are not looking for work, they are not counted as unemployed, and therefore do not see a decline in unemployment.” are getting.” It would be enough to conclude that we are moving in the right direction. “