It’s been a year since the coronavirus crisis brought the economy to its knees and some people may never recover financially.
Despite recent signs of improvement – including modest job gains and advances in immunization with Covid-19 vaccines, paving the way for a more open economy – about half of working adults in the US said the pandemic was affecting them Will make it harder to hit long-term financial goals, according to a new report from the Pew Research Center.
Among those who said their financial situation has gotten worse, 44% said it will take three years or more to get back to where they were twelve months ago – and one in ten said their finances never would will be completely the same.
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“There are certain groups who have not only experienced job loss in their household, but also have to take on debt – these are things that have consequences for their future,” said Juliana Horowitz, one of the authors of the report.
Inequality marked the recovery of the pandemic, which was marked by job losses for the lower and rising wealth for the upper.
This so-called K-shaped recovery has nearly divided the nation in half, with the richest Americans doing even better than before while millions have faced more setbacks.
Lower-income adults, as well as Black and Hispanic Americans and those under the age of 30, were the most likely to report that they or someone in their household had lost a job or suffered a wage cut since the coronavirus outbreak began, Pew noted.
As a result, they have had to postpone paying certain bills and take on debt in the face of pressing financial concerns, including food insecurity.
Higher-income adults were more likely to report that their families’ financial situation improved in the last year, mainly due to their spending less and saving more money.
“Higher-income adults are also more likely to have jobs that can be done from home, so they haven’t experienced job losses to the same extent,” Horowitz said.
About 4 in 10 wealthy Americans said their family’s financial situation had changed for the better, compared with 32% of middle-income people and just 22% of lower-income adults, Pew found.
An overwhelming majority of higher-income adults – around 86% – said their finances are in good or even excellent shape. The same goes for about 6 in 10 adults with at least four years of college degrees, white and Asian Americans, men, and people 65 and over.
Alternatively, about three-quarters of lower-income adults, blacks and Hispanics, and those without a college degree, say their personal finances are in fair or poor condition.
The Pew Research Center surveyed more than 10,300 U.S. adults in January.
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