New York (CNN Business)The Federal Reserve Bank on Thursday reported just how unequally the coronavirus-induced economic downturn is hitting Americans.
On one hand, lower-income people are getting slammed. Nearly 40% of those with a household income below $40,000 reported a job loss in March, according to the Economic Well-Being of US Households report.
At the same time, for the majority of adults, their income and ability to pay current bills appeared to remain generally stable during the initial weeks of the coronavirus pandemic. Also essentially unchanged was the percentage of people who reported they could pay off an unexpected $400 emergency expense entirely using cash, savings, or a credit card at the next statement.
The findings back up other reports that show that lower-income Americans, as well as black and Hispanic people, are bearing the brunt of the outbreak’s financial fallout. They are more likely to work in sectors that are laying off or furloughing workers, such as food services. More than one in five Americans have filed initial jobless claims since the pandemic began.
From the start of March through early April 2020, 19% of adults said they lost a job, were furloughed or had their hours reduced, the Fed report found. More than one-third of these folks expected to have difficulty paying their bills in April.