The study of the universities of Notre Dame and Chicago reflects an increase in the poverty rate in the US of 2.4% in just six months.
The poverty rate in the United States has risen in the last six months, amid unemployment caused by the coronavirus pandemic and the lack of a new government aid package, a study by the universities of Notre Dame and Chicago reported Tuesday. .
According to the report, poverty increased by an average of 2.4% from 9.3% in June to 11.7% in November, and although the level is historically low, the jump has been the fastest in an annual period since that the government started registering it 60 years ago.
The number of Americans who have joined poverty from June to November is 7.8 million.
The report says that poverty had decreased in the first months of the pandemic, in January and February, by 1.5%, from 10.9% to 9.4% in April, May and June, but it skyrocketed afterwards, increasing monthly until reaching the figure of 11.7% in November.
The increase in poverty was more relevant in black citizens, children and people with a high school education level or less. For African Americans, the increase was 3.1 percent from June, the study says.
The document highlights a difference between the poverty rate and the unemployment rate. While poverty increased by 2.4 percent since June, unemployment has decreased by 40% in that period (from 11.1% to 6.7%).
That difference is not surprising, the study notes, because some of the government’s unemployment benefits have expired, unemployment benefits are typically only about half of job income losses, and five million people have left the force. employment in the last year and do not count as unemployed.
Researchers said government stimulus checks of $ 1,200 per person and $ 2,400 for marriages saved the country from further poverty and warn that the next relief that Congress could pass is nearly half of the previous one.
The study expresses concern about a further increase in the poverty rate in the future without more direct help from the government during the pandemic.