That’s Not a Recovery: Millions Slip into Poverty & Unemployment Claims Rise

That a rush to re-open would lead to an economic rebound was always doubtful (no economic fix without a pandemic fix), but the data are clear that America is experiencing no national ‘recovery.’

Jason DeParle reports 8 Million Have Slipped Into Poverty Since May as Federal Aid Has Dried Up:

After an ambitious expansion of the safety net in the spring saved millions of people from poverty, the aid is now largely exhausted and poverty has returned to levels higher than before the coronavirus crisis, two new studies have found.

The number of poor people has grown by eight million since May, according to researchers at Columbia University, after falling by four million at the pandemic’s start as a result of an $2 trillion emergency package known as the Cares Act.

Using a different definition of poverty, researchers from the University of Chicago and Notre Dame found that poverty has grown by six million people in the past three months, with circumstances worsening most for Black people and children.

Significantly, the studies differ on the most recent month: While the Columbia model shows an improvement in September, the Chicago and Notre Dame analysts found poverty continued to grow.

Christopher Rugaber of the AP this morning reports that US jobless claims rise to 898,000 with layoffs still high:

The number of Americans seeking unemployment benefits rose last week by the most in two months, to 898,000, a historically high number and evidence that layoffs remain a hindrance to the economy’s recovery from the pandemic recession.

Thursday’s report from the Labor Department coincides with other recent data that have signaled a slowdown in hiring. The economy is still roughly 10.7 million jobs short of recovering all the 22 million jobs that were lost when the pandemic struck in early spring.

Confirmed coronavirus cases have been rising again nationwide in the past month, likely causing more Americans to hold back from eating out, shopping and engaging in other commerce. Cases have spiked in Wisconsin, for example, prompting renewed restrictions on business in Milwaukee and Madison.

These data show significant, increasing economic misery. It’s absurdly false to say that conditions are getting better.

One or a hundred rallies can’t hide the suffering of so many millions.

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