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Fed survey finds that Job losses have hit poor Americans the hardest

From the very beginning the Covid-19 induced shutdown has been primarily affecting workers in low paid sectors as well as smaller businesses. A survey held by the Federal reserve has shown just how much poor americans have been hit hard by job losses due to the lockdowns. Compared to high income individuals, low income individuals have suffered the majority of job losses and reductions in income.

According to the well-being survey,

Thirteen percent of adults, representing 20 percent of people who had been working in February, reported that they lost a job or were furloughed in March or the beginning of April 2020. These job losses were most severe among workers with lower incomes. Thirty-nine percent of people working in February with a household income below $40,000 reported a job loss in March. Another 6 percent of all adults had their hours reduced or took unpaid leave. Taken together, 19 percent of all adults reported either losing a job or experiencing a reduction in work hours in March.

Furthermore, people with higher levels of education, who particularly earn higher levels of income are likely to work from home, hence increasing the likelihood of of them keeping their jobs throughout the pandemic.

Workers with higher levels of education, particularly bachelor’s degrees, were more likely to work from home. Sixty-three percent of workers with at least a bachelor’s degree worked entirely from home. Among workers with a high school degree or less, 20 percent worked entirely from home, as did 27 percent of workers who have completed some college or an associate degree.

For a majority of people who experienced job losses, their financial well being was significantly impacted

For the majority of adults, income, ability to pay current bills, and their approach to covering a hypothetical $400 unexpected expense appear to be generally stable during the initial period of the COVID-19 pandemic. Yet among those who experienced employment losses, financial well-being is substantially lower.

Consistent with the employment declines in March, many people experienced declines in their incomes. Overall, 23 percent of adults said their income in March was lower than in February, while 5 percent said their income increased and the rest indicated it was about the same. Among those who lost a job or had their hours reduced, 70 percent reported that their income declined. Most people who did not report a job loss or reduced hours said that their income was about the same, although 12 percent said their month-to-month income declined between February and March.

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