More than 75% of US families said in July they were “doing okay” financially, or were “living comfortably,” according to a new survey by the Fed.
That’s up from 72% in April, when the China virus chaos caused unemployment to peak at 14.7%, and also better than the 75% reported in October 2019.
The Fed attributed the increase to the return of many Americans to jobs in recent months and to support many households received from the government and charitable organizations.
“A substantial number of families received one or more forms of financial assistance, and the effects of these programs were apparent in people’s overall financial well-being and ability to cover expenses,” according to a statement released Friday with the survey findings.
Congress provided about $3-T in emergency fiscal support to households and businesses during the early part of the chaos, blunting the impact of a record surge in unemployment as the medical emergency paralyzed large portions of the economy this Spring.
Fed Chairman Powell said Wednesday he believes more fiscal support will be needed.
The new report, entitled “Update on the Economic Well-Being of U.S. Households,” included a supplemental set of questions posed in July. Responses showed US families were so far holding up well.
The Fed said, “many still faced uncertainty regarding layoffs and prospects for returning to work,” and, compared to April, a larger share of laid-off workers expected their job loss to be permanent.
The survey underscored that the virus chaos was affecting Americans unequally. Low-income workers were less likely to return to the same jobs after the virus.
In addition, while 18% of workers said their employer was taking too few precautions to prevent the spread of C-19, that judgment ran to 27% of Black workers and 23% of Hispanic workers.
The rise in preparedness for emergency expenses was greatest, the report said, among low and middle-income families “for whom stimulus payments and enhanced unemployment insurance benefits reflect a larger share of incomes.”
Have a healthy weekend, Keep the Faith!