(p. B8) WASHINGTON — A record-low share of Americans were living in poverty, incomes were climbing, and health insurance coverage was little changed in 2019, a government report released on Tuesday showed — though the circumstances of many have deteriorated as pandemic lockdowns and industry disruptions have thrown millions out of work.
The share of Americans living in poverty fell to 10.5 percent in 2019, the Census Bureau reported, down 1.3 percentage points from 2018. That rate is the lowest since estimates were first published in 1959.
Household incomes increased to their highest level on record dating to 1967, at $68,700 in inflation-adjusted terms. That change came as individual workers saw their earnings climb and as the total number of people working increased.
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Unemployment was hovering at around 3.5 percent before the crisis took hold, the lowest in 50 years, and wages were steadily rising.
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(Note: the online version of the story has the date Sept. 15, 2020, and has the title “U.S. Poverty Hit a Record Low Before the Pandemic Recession.”)