American billionaires got $565 billion richer during the pandemic.

The last three months have been financially painful for many Americans - but not for billionaires.

American billionaires have gained $565 billion since March 18, according to a report released Thursday by the Institute for Policy Studies.

According to the report, the total wealth of billionaires now stands at $3.5 trillion, an increase of 19% from the level at the beginning of the pandemic. Amazon CEO (AMZN) Jeff Bezos alone is worth $36.2 billion more than on March 18.

Since that day, nearly 43 million Americans have filed for initial unemployment benefits. Lower-income workers, especially in the tourism and service industries, have been particularly affected by the health crisis.
These numbers explain the deep gulf between people who have and don't have - fueling unrest across the United States.

The acceleration in the wealth growth of the richest Americans is fueled by an extraordinary recovery in the stock market, which has soared in large part due to the unprecedented actions of the Federal Reserve.
"The move away from the real economy is exacerbating inequality," said Kristina Hooper, chief global market strategist at Invesco.