U.S. poverty rate rises, but not as high as expected - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

U.S. poverty rate not as high as expected

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WASHINGTON (WKOW) -- The nation's poverty rate has risen by about one percent although some researchers expected a record gain.

Many demographers were predicting a rate as high as 15 percent due to last year's high unemployment, but a report released today shows it reached a little more than 14 percent.

A University of Maryland analyst says "the government safety net" kept the number from jumping higher.

Increases last year in Social Security payments, federal expansions of unemployment insurance and additional unemployment benefits may be some contributing factors.

There was also a record number or working mothers bringing home paychecks after many men lost their jobs.

The ranks of working-age poor reached the highest level since at least 1965, according to today's report.

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