A new report has emerged stating that 31% of households in the U.S. have used up the majority of, or all of their savings throughout the pandemic.
The report comes from the Harvard T.H Chan School of Public Health and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation who detailed the impact of the coronavirus on households across America, and says that nearly half of U.S. households are experiencing serious financial trouble.
It’s one of the most thorough looks at the financial impact of the coronavirus pandemic on households around the United States so far.
Authors of the report state that “more than four in ten households across the nation (46%) report facing serious financial problems,” while “the most reported serious problems among households include 31% who have used up all or most of their savings, and an additional 10% who report not having any household savings prior to the outbreak.”
On top of this, one in five households (21%) in the U.S. reported that they had experienced “serious problems” paying their credit card, loans and personal debt, while 19% said they were unable to pay their rent or a mortgage.
Another key finding of the report is that more than four in ten (46%) responded that a member of the household had either lost their job, lost their business, been furloughed or had their hours and wage reduced since the beginning of the pandemic. “Among households with job or wage losses during the coronavirus outbreak, about two in three (68%) report having serious financial problems.”
One in five ( households earning above $100,000 reported facing serious financial problems during the pandemic, while the rate jumped to 54% of households earning under the $100,000 mark. A breakdown of the statistics by race found that latino citizens were worst hit, with 72% of households reporting serious financial problems, while african americans (60%), native americans (55%), asians (37%) and caucasians (36%) rounded out the list.
Interestingly, the report notes that while more than half of respondents were working remotely from home, just 8% reported any serious problems while working from home, suggesting that workforces have done well to adapt to the new normal.
CEO of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Dr Richard Besser has told ABC News that “on a day we’re reflecting on 200,000 deaths, we can’t ignore the economic impact on those who are living through it.”
“Death is only one marker for the impact of this pandemic, and it’s affecting society in major ways. And the burden of that is not evenly felt. What you see is the same groups that have suffered the most in terms of infection, also suffering the greatest economic burden.”
In their summary, authors of the report state that “these findings raise important concerns about the limited financial resources of these households to weather long-term financial and health effects of the coronavirus outbreak, as a large share have depleted their savings and are having major problems paying for basic costs of living, including food, rent, and medical care.”