Federal Reserve report examines pandemic financial challenges

The Federal Reserve Board’s recently released report examining the Economic Well-Being of U.S. Households in 2020 examined financial challenges encountered amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

In the fourth quarter of the year, the report showed that nearly 25 percent of adults said they were worse off financially than a year earlier. The result stemmed from the pandemic’s economic fallout.

The survey of over 11,000 adults, which draws on the Federal Reserve Board’s Survey of Household Economics and Decisionmaking (SHED),
was conducted in November of last year, officials said, adding it provided insight regarding how individuals fared eight months after the pandemic.

“This new survey gives us valuable details about the financial challenges families have faced during the pandemic,” Federal Reserve Board Governor Michelle W. Bowman said. “Even as the economy has improved, we can certainly see that some are still struggling, especially those who lost their jobs and those with less education, many of whom fell further behind. Helping families and communities was a central goal of the Federal Reserve’s response to the pandemic, and the SHED is providing valuable insight into the successes and ongoing challenges of Americans as they continue to experience its effects.”

The report addressed emerging issues born of pandemic-related disruptions and provided insights regarding how people viewed longer-run financial circumstances, particularly related to education, housing satisfaction, and retirement savings.

The report, downloadable data, data visualizations, and a video summarizing the survey’s findings can be found on the agency’s website.


Donovan Larsen

Donovan is a columnist and associate editor at the Dark News. He has written on everything from the politics to diversity issues in the workplace.

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