The rapid congressional response to Corona last spring saved millions of Americans from falling into poverty after losing their jobs. But with the end of the aid package, poverty has risen in recent months.
According to research conducted by professors at the University of Notre Dame, the University of Chicago, and the University of Zhejiang in China, the poverty rate fell from 11% in February to 9.3% in June. The entire drop could be attributed to one-off federal stimulus payments of up to $ 1,200 for eligible individuals and $ 2,400 for eligible spouses, plus $ 500 for each eligible child, which was distributed in the spring.
Congress also temporarily expanded the unemployment program to include more unemployed people, adding a weekly payment of $ 600, and extending the benefits period. However, the $ 600 improvement stalled at the end of July.
Without the additional federal help of a new relief package that Democrats and Republicans remain divided around, more people, especially African Americans, children, and those with secondary education or less, fell into poverty over the summer. The rate rose to 11.1% in September.
Another study, by researchers at the Columbia University Center on Poverty and Social Policy, found that stimulus payments and improved unemployment benefits lifted more than 18 million people out of monthly poverty in April.
But the end of the $ 600 aid period raised the monthly poverty rate to 16.7% in September, higher than spring and pre-pandemic levels.
A study found that the increases were particularly severe for African Americans and Hispanics, as well as for children. The monthly poverty rate for white Americans was 12% in September, but it was 25.2% and 25.8% for black Americans and Hispanics, respectively.