Poverty rates in the US are rising, as government aid winds down despite ongoing economic distress caused by the pandemic.

Nearly 8 million Americans – many of them children and minorities – have fallen into poverty since May, university researchers have said.

Last week, nearly 900,000 people filed new claims for jobless benefits – the highest number since August.

Analysts have called for aid to prevent the economic recovery from stalling.

But politicians in Washington have been at odds over a deal for months, with talks in recent weeks overshadowed by the upcoming presidential election and disputes over the Supreme Court.

“The sobering reality is that it appears further help may not be coming from elected officials in Washington,” said Mark Hamrick, senior economic analyst at Bankrate.com.

Stimulus relief

This spring, as the pandemic cast more than 20 million Americans out of work, the US government approved more than $3tn (£2.3tn) in relief money.

The aid included cheques of up to $1,200 for most individuals and money to temporarily boost unemployment benefits by an extra $600 per week.

The massive spending wave initially blunted the economic upheaval caused by the virus, prompting poverty rates to decline.

But those figures began to tick up again this summer, as the one-time financial boost from the cheques wore off and the expansion to unemployment benefits expired at the end of July.

Source: BBC News


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