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Despite increased employment and higher wages, the poverty rate increased dramatically in the United States in 2022, especially among children, The New York Times reports.
Recent gains in employment and wages were not enough to offset steep increases in the cost of living — especially in housing and food — and the loss of pandemic-era benefits that allowed struggling families to stay in their homes and feed their families.
According to the article by Ben Casselman and Lydia DePillis, which appeared in the Sept. 12 edition of the Times, the poverty rate in the U.S. jumped from 7.8% in 2021 to 12.4% in 2022, “the largest one-year jump on record,” the story says, citing the Census Bureau.
Children were the most impacted by the shift, as poverty among children more than doubled, to 12.4%, from a record low of 5.2% the year before, the authors say, citing the Supplemental Poverty Measure.
The dramatic change in the poverty rate is also owing to the official ending of critical pandemic-era benefits that drove two years of historically large declines in poverty in the U.S., they note. These included direct payments to households in 2020 and 2021, enhanced unemployment and nutrition benefits, increased rental assistance, and an expanded child tax credit, “which provided a guaranteed income to families with children.”
Read the whole article here.
The Times report underscores the precarious situation of young people in our society. Already, the crisis of youth homelessness in the U.S. will leave 4.2 million young people with no safe place to live at some point this year.
Covenant House is committed to providing youth with safe shelter and transformative programming to help them build the life all young people aspire to.
But it will take more to end the youth homelessness crisis for good. This November, Covenant House will lead a campaign throughout Youth Homelessness Awareness Month to draw attention to the crisis and lead the search for solutions.
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