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University of Wisconsin–Madison

IRP Poverty Dispatch

Poverty-related issues in the news, from the Institute for Research on Poverty

January 15, 2021

Some jobless workers have been excluded from unemployment benefits.


When a person lives in a constant state of need, it’s often difficult to decide which hole to fill, or which fire to put out.


One in two Americans who received the first stimulus check say they’re counting on the second round of payments for financial stability, according to a new survey.


Jennifer Davis lost her job as director of catering and special events at a small restaurant chain within 15 minutes of Maryland shuttering bars and eateries in mid-March.


Out-of-work Americans are eligible for extra unemployment benefits, but many are confused by the process around collecting the money.


Jobless Americans in many states are starting to see heftier unemployment checks, thanks to the $900 billion relief package Congress approved in late December.


The think tank’s analysts say the groups that would be most affected by homelessness are those working low-wage and part-time jobs, many of them living on poverty-level wages and working jobs…


Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear ordered officials to issue one-time $400 payments to workers who didn’t get Lost Wages Assistance. Other residents will get $1,000.


The federal government has yet to approve plans in most states for giving out money that was authorized in October.

January 8, 2021

Nonfarm payrolls fell by 140,000 in December, the Labor Department said, against the Dow Jones consensus estimate for a 50,000 gain.


President Trump signed a Covid relief bill, giving extra jobless benefits to millions of workers. Aid may not come for weeks and the total amount may be lower.


Come Friday, many low-wage workers across the US are getting a pay bump.


Whether the Biden administration will get the chance to raise the federal minimum wage will likely come down to runoff election in Georgia on Tuesday.


When schools closed because of COVID-19, teachers delivered free food to students at their homes. Many saw poverty firsthand for the first time.


Millions of Americans expect to lose wages in the next four weeks.


December 18, 2020

America’s poverty rate has risen at the fastest pace ever this year after aid for the unemployed declined.


Nearly 8 million Americans fell into poverty between June and November, a new analysis shows.


In the years leading up to 2020, the poverty rate in America had been on a gradual decline. But the pandemic changed everything.


Millions of Americans who lost their jobs during the pandemic have fallen thousands of dollars behind on rent and utility bills, a warning sign that people are running out of money for basic needs.


A pandemic relief program allows no forgiveness of overpayments, even when recipients are not at fault and the funds are already spent.


Follow the StarTribune for the news, photos and videos from the Twin Cities and beyond.


Vital housing assistance, such as rapid rehousing, may not be available to families that don’t meet the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s definition of homeless, including those who have had to move in with other households.


In the seven weeks since housing courts reopened, new eviction filings have climbed quickly, despite a federal ban that still prevents many evictions from being finalized. And some parts of the state are seeing far more cases than others, according to a Globe analysis of state court data.



Many low-income families across Massachusetts have struggled to receive their promised free school breakfasts and lunches during the pandemic because of school schedules. It’s another way the pandemic is widening existing racial and socioeconomic inequities in education.


Feeding America estimates that 17 million children could go without enough to eat this year, and advocates say that hunger could get worse during winter.



Richard Smith wishes he could buy his groceries online and get them delivered right to his door in the pandemic. It’s not so easy.