Elizabeth Kneebone

Ever since we got our first glimpse of the Great Recession’s impact on metropolitan poverty with last year’s release of the 2008 American Community Survey (ACS), we suspected the 2009 ACS would contain even more dismal results. But when the data appeared last week, the rise in poverty, especially in certain metro areas, superseded even our pessimism. Over the first year of the recession, 16 of the 100 largest metro areas in the country saw a significant uptick in the share of people living below the federal poverty line ($21,954 for a family of four in 2009).

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A couple weeks ago we got some bleak--though not unexpected--news from the U.S. Census Bureau: there are now more poor people in the United States than ever before recorded.

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There’s been a lot of talk lately on the ins and outs of a new supplemental poverty measure being developed by the U.S. Census Bureau. As named, this new measure will not replace the official measure, but will supplement it by offering more information on people’s economic wellbeing. Nancy Folbre’s recent Economix post gives a good round up of why this new measure matters, but here’s the upshot.

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 It’s April 15th, and that means one more tax season is coming to a close. (For those mad-dashers out there racing for the midnight deadline, you might want to check out form 4868 or at least fuel up with some free stuff to get you to the finish line.) This Tax Day finds the country in the midst of a tentative economic recovery, and thankfully--though plenty of economists are holding their breath--the economic outlook is better than a year ago.

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The Chicago Tribune recently profiled a Naperville, IL couple struggling, like so many others across the country, to make ends meet. She had to stop working as a nursing assistant because of health problems, and his $8.50-an-hour job isn’t enough to pay all their bills. They’ve fallen behind on rent, even after pawning belongings to help catch up.

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The president’s proposed budget for FY2011 contains a few key provisions that will mean good news for low-income working families at tax time, even after the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA/stimulus bill) runs its course. It also proposes to terminate an ineffective program for these families, but stops short of advancing a much-needed replacement. Top 10 States and Metro Areas for Increases in EITC Dollars due to ARRA Changes in Eligibility First, ARRA temporarily expanded two important tax credits for working families that the Administration now proposes to make permanent.

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Remember when the Census Bureau released the new 2008 national poverty numbers earlier this month? Not surprisingly, the news wasn’t good, and the best guess was that the outlook would be bleakest in the Sun Belt metro areas hit hardest by the downturn in the housing market and in regions reliant on the auto manufacturing industry. Well, now the local numbers are in. Only about one-fifth of the 100 largest metro areas experienced a significant change in poverty from 2007 to 2008, and as might be expected, most of those saw their poverty rates increase.

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The Census Bureau released new numbers today on poverty in the U.S.

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