New U.S. Census data show that poverty increased in Illinois in 2011, as the economy continued its slow recovery from recession.
The new numbers from the Census Bureau's American Community Survey were released Thursday.
They show an estimated 1.9 million people in the state were living below the federal poverty line last year.
That's almost 150,000 more than in 2010.
In Chicago, the numbers increased by 15,000 last year for a total of more than 261,000.
The Chicago Tribune reports that at the same time people are earning smaller paychecks, as laid-off workers move on to take lower paying jobs.
University of Michigan economist Sheldon Danzinger tells the paper that "the low-paying sectors are growing," while higher-paying industries continue to trim jobs.