Shortly after the outbreak of COVID-19, the Census Bureau launched a vast initiative to measure the effects of the disease on Americans. It is called the Household Pulse Survey. So far, the results have been released in three phases, which began with the first study that was in the field starting April 23, 2020. The data is released by week.
Each weekly report actually covers about two weeks of information gathered by the Census Bureau and other federal agencies. Among the questions asked each week is whether an adult in the respondent’s household is likely to lose employment income in the next four weeks.
Current data covers Week 25 and includes the results of questions about income loss, the percentage of Americans who work from home, food scarcity, food insecurity, chances of eviction or foreclosure, difficulty in paying household expenses, whether people have received a COVID-19 vaccine and whether those who are not vaccinated plan to be.
The work is done in partnership with the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), Bureau of Transportation Statistics, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Department of Housing and Urban Development, National Center for Education Statistics, National Center for Health Statistics, Social Security Administration and USDA Economic Research Service.
Data come from the 50 states, the District of Columbia and America’s largest metro areas.
Among the questions asked of adults was whether they “expect someone in their household to have a loss in employment income in the next 4 weeks?” This section of the Household Pulse Survey is titled “Expected Loss in Employment Income.”
The state where the highest percentage of respondents answered yes to the loss of income statement was Hawaii at 31.5%. Nevada followed at 28.3%, and the national average was 20.7%.
Notably, in the BLS January State Employment and Unemployment Survey, these two states had among those with the highest unemployment rates. Hawaii was highest among the 50 states at 10.2%. In Nevada, it was 8.1%. There is no conclusive tie between fear of lost wages and state unemployment rates. However, the comparison may not be random.
The states where the lowest percentage of people answered yes to the loss of income question were South Dakota at 10.6% and Utah at 13.3%. The BLS January statistics show that these two states had the lowest unemployment levels, with each at 3.1%.
Among metro areas, the one where the highest percentage of respondents expect a loss of employment income in the next four weeks was Los Angeles at 29.6%. The metro with the lowest level was Phoenix at 18.9%.
The fear of lost income shows that, while the economy is in the midst of a recovery, not everyone is doing well.
This is the percentage of adults by state who expect a loss in employment income in the next four weeks:
Click here to see the income a family needs to avoid poverty in each state.
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