Report: Black Americans Continue to Face Economic Hardship due to Covid-19

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Better educated and older Black adults are faring better than younger, less educated ones who have lost jobs and faced wage cuts at higher rates, making it harder for them to achieve their long-term financial goals, according to the Pew Research Center.

A majority of Black Americans rate their personal situation as fair or poor as a result of the pandemic, but assessments vary by education level and age, according to a Pew Research Center survey.

Only one-third of Black Americans with some college education or less rated their personal situation as excellent/good, while 70% say their financial well-being is fair or poor. This compares with those with a college degree and advanced education levels—49% of those surveyed rated their financial situations as excellent or good and roughly half say  fair/poor condition. 

According to Pew, 45% of Black adults surveyed say they have put less money into savings than usual even though they’re typically able to save at least some money. About half of Black adults with some college experience or less say they’ve saved less than usual, while 27% of those with a college degree say the same.

The Pew study also found that younger Black adults have more likely experienced lost jobs or wages since the coronavirus outbreak began. About 43% of Black Americans 18 to 49 years old say they have taken a cut in pay or have been temporarily or permanently laid off since the pandemic started last March. On the other hand, 19% of African Americans age 50 and older say they have experienced these economic hardships. 

The percentage of Black adults with economic insecurity concerns is greatest among those without a college degree. The main worry is over the amount of debt they have accumulated since the pandemic. 

The Pew Research Center conducted this study to better understand Black Americans’ financial outlooks and how their personal financial situations have changed amid the coronavirus outbreak. It is part of a larger study about the economic impact of Covid-19 and is based on a January survey of 10,334 U.S. adults, including 934 Black adults.

It has been reported that the economic recovery is mostly benefitting white families. Nearly four in 10 Latino/Hispanic and Black households are having a hard time paying their bills more than a year into the pandemic—double the share of white households, according to the Center for Public Integrity’s analysis of the latest Household Pulse Survey.

To see more on the numbers in the Pew study click here.

Brent Woodie is an associate editor at Route Fifty.

NEXT STORY: Most States Held Off Draining Savings in Response to Pandemic

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