Recession Watch

Poverty Rate at 11-Year High

New stats on the recession's impact on poverty over the last year are out and, not surprisingly, they're looking grim. According to Census Bureau numbers released on Thursday, the poverty rate jumped to an 11-year high in 2008, incomes fell across the board, and the ranks of the uninsured rose to 46.3 million, the Los Angeles Times reports. Experts expect the poverty rate, which climbed from 12.5 percent to 13.2 percent from 2007 to 2008, to keep climbing this year and next. Meanwhile, the average unemployment rate of 8.9 percent for the year, compared with 5.8 percent in 2008, is also expected to climb. With 3 million lost jobs since the beginning of 2009, the numbers of uninsured are expected to climb even higher than the currently estimated 50 million, as people lose their employee health plans.