Survey Finds Job Losses Hit Minorities, Lower-Income Americans Harder


The economic fallout of the coronavirus, now six months in, has continued to hit lower-income Americans the hardest, according to a new Pew Research Center report.

The labor market has recovered since, and the stock market losses from early on in the pandemic have bounced back. But for many Americans, even paying their normal bills is still a struggle, the report says, with about one in four adults having trouble. And a third of American adults have had to dip into savings or retirement accounts to make ends meet. One in six people have borrowed from family or friends or gotten food from a food bank this year.

The issues have continually been more common among adults with lower incomes, those with no college degree and for Black or Hispanic Americans, the survey finds. That said, some of the disparities were already in evidence even before the pandemic hit.

Job losses have also hit some communities harder, with 25 percent of adults saying they lost a job or live with someone who had. Young adults and lower-income adults were the hardest-hit. Half of those who say they personally lost a job are still unemployed, while a third have returned to work and 15 percent are at a different job.

And many have taken reduced hours and pay cuts due to the economic crunch of the pandemic.

Fifty-three percent of Hispanic Americans say they or someone in their household was laid off because of the pandemic, while 47 percent of Asian Americans, 43 percent of Black Americans and 38 percent of white Americans said the same.

According to PYMNTS, a survey by global outplacement and executive and business coaching firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas found that 30 percent of companies had cut pay in response to the pandemic. Fifty five percent of those companies said it was to avoid having to lay people off. Forty-four percent said the cuts were across the board, while others were only for higher-up positions.



The How We Shop Report, a PYMNTS collaboration with PayPal, aims to understand how consumers of all ages and incomes are shifting to shopping and paying online in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. Our research builds on a series of studies conducted since March, surveying more than 16,000 consumers on how their shopping habits and payments preferences are changing as the crisis continues. This report focuses on our latest survey of 2,163 respondents and examines how their increased appetite for online commerce and digital touchless methods, such as QR codes, contactless cards and digital wallets, is poised to shape the post-pandemic economy.