Some 898,000 U.S. citizens demanded last week some benefits for being unemployed in order to increase the toll to 25 million United States people since the beginning of the new coronavirus crisis, according to official estimates.
But the rising number of people using extended unemployment benefits reflects many are experiencing long periods of unemployment.
The recession and the petering out of federal government aid, including the additional $600 a week in unemployment insurance benefits, has pushed 8 million more Americans into poverty, according to a report released by Columbia University.
Estimates reported by the Center for Poverty and Social Policy at the Columbia University point out that as a total population porcentage, with a a 15% before the pandemic, the toll of poor people rose to 14.3% in May, but increased in September to 16.7%.
"The Cares Act was unusually successful, but now it's gone, and a lot more people are poor", Zachary Parolin, an author of the Columbia report, told The New York Times. Researchers from Notre Dame and the University of Chicago, who measured income by year instead of by month, put the number at 6 million, including 2.5 million children.
The studies attribute the COVID-19 pandemic and the loss of the Cares Act to the rise in poverty.
The program expanded unemployment benefits and provided stimulus checks for families.
"As a result, the monthly poverty rate in September was higher than rates during April or May, and also higher than pre-crisis levels".
The Democratic House has twice passed multitrillion-dollar packages to provide more help and to stimulate the economy, but members of a divided Republican Senate, questioning the cost and necessity, have proposed smaller plans.
Thursday's unemployment numbers also don't include California, which typically represents about one-fourth of unemployment claims in the country. A report from Moody's Analytics released Thursday shows almost 12 million households said they are unsure if they'll be able to continue their mortgage payments.