The Federal Reserve Board has released the seventh annual “External LinkReport on the Economic Well-Being of U.S. Households, Featuring Supplemental Data from April 2020.” While financial circumstances generally were positive for most adults at the end of 2019, the report found that financial conditions changed dramatically for people who experienced job loss or reduced hours during March 2020 as the spread of COVID-19 intensified in the United States.
The report draws from the Board’s seventh annual Survey of Household Economics and Decisionmaking (SHED), which examines the economic well-being and financial lives of U.S. adults and their families. The 2019 survey of more than 12,000 adults was conducted in October 2019, offering a picture of personal finances prior to the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. To obtain updated information in the midst of closures and stay-at-home orders, a smaller supplemental survey of just over 1,000 adults was conducted in April. Financial repercussions from COVID-19 continue to evolve, and the Federal Reserve Board will continue to monitor the financial conditions of households through supplemental surveys.
In April, fewer adults reported that they were at least doing OK financially than had been the case six months earlier. The declines in self-reported financial well-being were concentrated among those who lost a job or had their work hours cut. Among those who experienced a job loss or hours reduction, 51% indicated that they were doing at least OK financially in April, whereas 48% were either “finding it difficult to get by” or “just getting by.”
Among adults not experiencing a job loss or reduction in hours, 76% were at least OK financially in April, which is similar to the 75% of adults who reported being at least OK financially in the fall.
In addition to monitoring how households fared near the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the report also highlights continuing financial concerns for many households that predated the public health crisis.
The report, downloadable data, and a video summarizing the survey's findings may be found at: External Linkhttps://www.federalreserve.gov/consumerscommunities/shed.htm.