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Poll: 25% of Americans experienced a layoff during pandemic, even the employed felt financial loss

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Posted at 9:30 AM, Mar 09, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-09 10:40:07-05

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Roughly 4 in 10 Americans say they’re still feeling the financial impact of the loss of a job or some of their income within their household as the economic recovery remains uneven one year into the coronavirus pandemic.

The new poll by The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research provides further evidence that the pandemic has been devastating for some Americans, while leaving others virtually unscathed or even in better shape, at least when it comes to their finances.

The poll shows that about half of Americans say they have experienced at least one form of household income loss during the pandemic, including 25% who have experienced a household layoff and 31% who say someone in the household was scheduled for fewer hours.

Overall, 44% said their household experienced income loss from the pandemic that is still having an impact on their finances. And about 30% of Americans say their current household income is lower than it was when the pandemic began.

The pandemic has particularly hurt Black and Latino households, as well as young Americans, who are now going through their second major economic crisis of their adult lives.

The poll’s findings reflect what some economists have called a “K-shaped recovery,” where there have been divergent fortunes among Americans. Those with office jobs were able to transition to working from home while those who worked in hard-hit industries such as entertainment, dining, travel and other industries have continued to struggle.

The poor have struggled to recover financially compared to the wealthy and Black and Latino households have not bounced back as well as their white counterparts.

Thirty-eight percent of Hispanics and 29% of Black Americans have experienced a layoff in their household at some point during the past year, compared with 21% of white Americans.

The AP-NORC poll of 1,434 adults was conducted Feb. 25-March 1 using a sample drawn from NORC’s probability-based AmeriSpeak Panel, which is designed to be representative of the U.S. population. The margin of sampling error for all respondents is plus or minus 3.4 percentage points.