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Poverty fell from December to January because of stimulus checks

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Economists from the University of Chicago, University of Notre Dame, and Zhejiang University found that American poverty rates dropped when the most recent stimulus payments …
Economists from the University of Chicago, University of Notre Dame, and Zhejiang University found that American poverty rates dropped when the most recent stimulus payments and unemployment benefits were enacted. From December 2020 to January 2021, the poverty rate fell from 11.8% to 11.5%, in contrast with an increase from 9.3% last June. When the previous aid had expired, more than 8 million Americans fell into poverty. Before the pandemic, the poverty rate had stood at 10.8% in January 2020. The first round of stimulus payments, along with the beefed up $600 in weekly unemployment insurance, led to a declining poverty rate earlier in the pandemic. The climb back up began after these extra benefits ended in July. Black Americans, children, and those with a high school education or less were particularly hard hit as poverty climbed in the second half of 2020.

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