New Census figures reveal a troubling trend. After tumbling in 2021, poverty spiked sharply in 2022. Despite steady job growth, the Supplemental Poverty Measure jumped 4.6 points, from 7.8 to 12.4 percent.

That’s a historic, nearly 60 percent increase just one year after the measure reached a record low. And the rate for children more than doubled, from 5.2 percent in 2021 to 12.4 percent in 2022.

The stark contrast paints a vivid picture of how poverty in this country is a political choice, not a personal one. And it’s a willful unlearning of the lessons we took from the pandemic, a time of nearly unprecedented economic and social crisis.

During the pandemic, families lost jobs, hospitals were overwhelmed and whole cities virtually shut down while supply chain snags caused prices to soar. Faced with rising evictions, food insecurity, medical costs and unemployment, elected officials finally did what social movements and anti-poverty experts had been demanding for decades: fix and strengthen our frayed social safety net.

Read the rest at The Hill.

Karen Dolan directs the Criminalization of Race and Poverty Project at the Institute for Policy Studies. Distributed by

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