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COVID-era poverty rose to 11.4%, but relief payments eased hardship, census shows – Portland, Oregon

Portland, Oregon 2021-09-14 12:39:21 –

File – On June 29, 2021, the people in the file photo cycled past a homeless camp set up along a promenade in the Venice district of Los Angeles. The proportion of Americans in poverty increased slightly last year as the COVID pandemic shook the economy, but large-scale bailouts pushed out by Congress eased the suffering of many, the Census Bureau said. Reported on Tuesday, 14th of March. It was 1 percentage point in 2020, indicating that 11.4% of Americans lived in poverty. This was the first increase in poverty after a decline for the fifth consecutive year. (AP Photo / Jae C. Hong, File)

Washington (AP) —The proportion of Americans in poverty increased slightly as the COVID-19 pandemic shook the economy last year, but the huge bailouts pushed by Congress have plagued many. The Census Bureau reported on Tuesday that it had eased.

Official poverty indicators show an increase of 1 percentage point in 2020, indicating that 11.4% of Americans lived in poverty. This was the first increase in poverty after a decline for the fifth consecutive year.

However, a more complete supplementary measure of poverty, taking into account income flows such as stimulus payments, actually showed that the proportion of poor people declined after aid was considered. ..

The pandemic shutdown caused a tremor in the economy as a whole last year. In April alone, more than 20 million workers lost their jobs. The unemployment office paid an average of 20 million bills a week last year. Since then, the economy has recovered, but employment is still below pre-pandemic levels by about 5 million.

Congress passed five bipartisan COVID-19 bills last year, bringing the total to nearly $ 3.5 trillion, signed by then-President Donald Trump. This year, the Democratic Party has pushed President Joe Biden’s $ 1.9 trillion US rescue program in a party-line vote. The impact is not reflected in the census report.

Some of last year’s federal aid was postponed for reasons ranging from cost conflicts to distribution problems, but overall isolated American families from economic disasters that would exacerbate the public health crisis. Some groups were excluded, such as those who were not legally allowed to enter the country.

Bruce Meyer, a poverty expert at the University of Chicago, said legislators from both parties took dramatic action when Americans fought over measures such as wearing masks, closing businesses, and living in the community. He said he was motivated to take.

“Some Democrats are very focused on helping the unemployed and injured, and some Republicans are willing to do a lot to help the president’s reelection, so politicians join incentives and desires. There was a point, on both sides, “he said.

Trump eventually lost his reelection, but the census report provides evidence related to the current debate about Biden’s $ 3.5 trillion social infrastructure program, the Brookings Institution think tank’s public policy ana. Liszt Robert Greenstein said.

“It will be difficult to maintain that view, especially for those who have a cynical view that governments rarely work effectively, especially in terms of poverty,” said a nonprofit organization. Greenstein, who set up a center on advocating budget and policy priorities, said. Of low-income earners.

The Biden Economic Plan will increase tax credits for families with children. This is seen as a strategy to mitigate child poverty and its long-term consequences.

COVID-era poverty rose to 11.4%, but relief payments eased hardship, census shows Source link COVID-era poverty rose to 11.4%, but relief payments eased hardship, census shows

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