The crisis unleashed by coronavirus has brought dramatic changes in Americans’ finances as millions of workers face layoffs and other cuts in their jobs, with those with the lowest wages being the hardest hit, according to a latest a report published on Thursday by the Federal Reserve.
Nearly one in five of all adults lost their jobs or their hours were reduced in March, according to the survey.
Job cuts were more severe for low-wage earners; 39% of workers with a household income of less than $ 40,000 reported a job loss in March.
The figure compares to 19% of workers with a family income of between $ 40,000 and $ 100,000 and only 13% with a family income of over $ 100,000, the Fed said.
Nine out of 10 people on temporary leave or lost their jobs said their employers told them they would be back at work at some point.
Overall, however, people did not know when they would be able to return to work, as 77% of those who lost their job source were told that they could return but did not have a set date.
The Fed’s latest survey on domestic economics and decision-making found that consumer finances improved greatly in 2019, before the pandemic, but many workers were unprepared to face a financial crisis.
Before the pandemic, 30% of adults said they couldn’t cover the three-month expenses by borrowing or using savings. According to the survey, among adults who had not retired, 25% lacked retirement savings before the crisis.
In general, people with higher incomes and levels of education obtained better financial results. More than half of all workers, or 53%, did some work from home in the last week of March, but those with higher levels of education were more likely to have that option.