From the Introduction: "The poverty rate measures the share of people with family incomes below a dollar amount called a poverty threshold, which is scaled according to family size and the ages of the members. The rate is used to examine the number or share of people facing economic deprivation, and to gauge the level of that deprivation. [...] This development is of potential interest to Congress because it may suggest that economic cycles have changed in a way that is hampering the ability of poor families to use work or other avenues to move out of poverty when compared to past cycles, especially those before 1991. This report documents poverty rate patterns over economic cycles, with a focus on how the poverty rate changes during economic recoveries. Because the population in poverty has a diverse set of characteristics, and multiple changes in the U.S. economy are taking place simultaneously, a definitive explanation as to why the U.S. poverty rate is less responsive to economic recoveries now compared with before the 1990s is beyond the scope of this report."
CRS Report for Congress, R45854
Congressional Research Service: https://crsreports.congress.gov/