About 60 Million U.S. Households Expect Income Losses This Month

Nearly 60 million Americans expect someone in their household will lose a job or take a pay cut in the next four weeks, according to survey results released Wednesday by the U.S. Census Bureau.

Minority households in particular are continuing to struggle economically from the coronavirus pandemic, according to the survey conducted from Sept. 16-28.

The Census Bureau’s latest edition of the Household Pulse Survey found that more than 27% of Americans in their prime working years — those age 25 to 54 — anticipate income losses affecting themselves or someone they live with during October.

The latest review showed a slight reduction in the number of Americans worried about potential income losses. During the prior survey period conducted Sept. 2-14, 62.3 million people were concerned.

Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis President Neel Kashkari said this week that more fiscal support was urgently needed to support the U.S. economic recovery.

“Whatever Congress can do with the executive branch — come together aggressively to put money in the hands of people who have lost their jobs and to support small businesses so that we don’t have this continuing wave of bankruptcies across the economy — it’s just vital that they move quickly,” Kashkari said in an interview with CNBC.

Kashkari’s comments were similar to those of Fed Chair Jerome Powell this week in which he made one of his strongest appeals to date on the need for lawmakers to do more.

The latest Census survey found that about 32% of Americans found paying for typical household expenses to be “somewhat” or “very” difficult. These figures were significantly higher for Hispanic or Black households than they were for White or Asian households.

About 28% of those with less than a high school education had trouble meeting expenses compared with 6.3% for wage earners with a Bachelor’s degree or higher.

About a fifth of households struggling to cover their costs of living were relying on credit cards, the survey showed, while half are borrowing from family or friends.

— With assistance by Matthew Boesler

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