Nearly 8 million Americans have fallen into poverty since the summer

Author: Leigh Lynes

The U.S. poverty rate has surged over the past five months, according to new data from Jim Sullivan, LEO co-founder and Notre Dame professor, and Bruce Meyer, a professor at the University of Chicago.

Sullivan and Meyer say the sharp rise in poverty is occurring for two reasons: Millions of people cannot find jobs, and government aid for the unemployed has declined sharply since the summer. The average unemployment payment was more than $900 a week from late March through the end of July, but it fell to about $300 a week in August, making it harder for the unemployed to pay their bills.

"We've seen a continual rise in poverty every month since June," said Sullivan.

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