Key Highlights

  • 47% of adults say their household lost employment income, according to Census Bureau’s Household Pulse Survey
  • 39% of adults expect their households to earn less from work over next 4 weeks
  • New York Times survey finds 80% of those still having jobs expect finances to be steady over next year
  • Of those who’ve lost their jobs, 66% say their finances have been hit hard and do not expect their financial situation to improve over this next year
  • Times survey also found that only 20% of Americans expect overall business conditions to be “good” over this next year and 60% foresee “periods of widespread unemployment or depression” over next 5 years

The US Census Bureau is doing a weekly survey, rolled out in April for the first time, to get a handle on how the COVID-19 outbreak is changing American lives. Highlighted below are just a few of the ways the pandemic has and continues to impact our lives, according to the Bureau’s most recent Household Pulse Survey:

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  • 47% of adults say they or another adult in their household have lost employment income since March 13
  • 39% of adults say they anticipate earning less from work over the next four weeks
  • More than 20% of adults report they have slight or no confidence in their ability to cover their next rent or mortgage payment on time at the beginning of next month, just days away
  • Nearly 4 in 10 adults report they have put off medical care over the last 4 weeks due to the pandemic

The US Census Bureau, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Department of Housing and Urban Development plus other federal agencies helped develop the questions for this $1.2M experimental survey. The Census Bureau collected data via online questionnaires between April 23 – May 5.

You and/or your colleagues, family members, friends, etc. ae welcome to participate in this ongoing survey by going to


texting 39242

Each point of contact will provide links to the Household Pulse Survey through mid-July.

(This Household Pulse Survey is completely separate from the Bureau’s work on compiling data for the US Census 2020. As with the Census, responses are completely anonymous and privacy rights are in tact.)

The New York Times also recently released data from a survey regarding Americans’ expectations of the economy conducted by the online research platform SurveyMonkey. This survey found that overall, only one in five expects business conditions to be “very” or “somewhat” good over this next year.

Importantly, the Times survey found that 60% of all Americans foresee “periods of widespread unemployment or depression” for the next five years.

American confidence levels declined slightly when compared to last month’s results via the Household Pulse Survey. This may mean that Americans are not impacted by business re-openings and/or by federal/state moves to deal with the pandemic.

Such an outlook doesn’t bode well for a smooth economic recovery. If Americans fear for their jobs or that the pace of business is lagging, it is likely Americans will hold on to their money rather than spending it as they “used to.”

The Times survey found that 80% of Americans who still have their jobs and hours in tact believe their finances have been relatively unchanged from a year ago. They also are confident their finances will remain steady throughout this next year.

Those who have lost their jobs are obviously much more skeptical. Two-thirds of Americans now without jobs have been hard hit financially. Many believe that finding new work will be slow going and most have low expectations about their situations improving over the next year.


Thanks to the US Census Bureau, The New York Times and National Public Radio.

Also read: Podcast: Amazing Housing Rebound Is Here! | Tim and Julie Harris, Economists Say 2020 To Side Step Recession, Podcast: Pandemic 2.0 Starting Now? | Millions Fleeing Cities For Rural Living | Tim and Julie Harris

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