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Fed Report: Economic Well-Being

From the report: Although financial circumstances were generally positive for most adults at the end of 2019, financial conditions changed dramatically for many families beginning in March 2020 as the spread of COVID-19 intensified in the United States. For instance, according to the Department of Labor, record numbers of people filed initial claims for unemployment insurance benefits in the final weeks of March and the beginning of April.1 Recognizing this changing financial landscape, the Federal Reserve Board fielded a supplemental survey (“April supplement”) over the first weekend of April 2020 to obtain an updated picture of families’ financial situations. Consistent with the employment declines seen in other data, results from the April supplement point to the substantial job losses that were occurring. Thirteen percent of adults reported that they lost a job or were furloughed between March 1, 2020, and the time at which they completed the survey during the first weekend in April. However, as discussed further in the “Financial Repercussions from COVID-19” section of this report, most of those who lost a job expected in early April that the layoff would be temporary and that they would return to the same employer. An additional 6 percent of adults reported that they had their hours reduced or took unpaid leave.

Report on the Economic Well-Being of U.S. Households in 2019, Featuring Supplemental Data from April 2020 (PDF)

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