The Associated Press reports that the numbers of poor and uninsured Americans are probably rising, with more than 38.8 million thought now to be in poverty.
Rebecca Blank, the Commerce Department's undersecretary of economic affairs, spoke in advance of next month's release of census data. Blank said the 2008 data will probably show a "statistically significant" increase in the poverty rate, to at least 12.7 percent. That would represent a jump of more than 1.5 million poor people last year.
The number of people who lack health insurance is also expected to increase from the current estimate of 46 million.