Nine months into the pandemic, 42% of Americans say their household income is still below what it was before the coronavirus outbreak began, according to a new survey from Bankrate.com.
Half of US households told Bankrate their income has taken a hit at some point during the pandemic. Yet, only 17% of those who suffered an income drop reported that their earnings have returned to the levels they had prior to the pandemic.
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Most saw their incomes decline from either shutdowns, layoffs, pay cuts or reduced hours, according to the report.
As the financial fallout from the pandemic continues and with expanded unemployment benefits and eviction moratoriums set to expire at the end of the year, 85% of adults are worried about a lasting negative impact to their income. That’s an increase from the percentage of people who reported that same concern in June.
This speaks to the widespread financial impact that remains from the pandemic, said Greg McBride, Bankrate.com chief financial analyst. “Even as Americans are returning to work, many say their households are earning less than they were before Covid-19.”
As Congress continues to race against the clock to hammer out an additional stimulus package, more than half of Americans say it will take at least six months for their income to recover. Some people, 6%, say they think their income will never recover.
Younger people were more likely to have their finances adversely effected by the pandemic.
More than half of Generation X households (ages 40 to 55) and 63% of both Generation Z (ages 18 to 23) and Millennial households (ages 24 to 39) reported a negative impact to their overall income. That’s compared with just 37% of Baby Boomers (ages 56 to 74).
The probability of a financial rebound decreases with income level, according to the study. Of households earning $80,000 or more annually who said their income dropped because of the pandemic, 30% saw a return to normal. That’s compared to just 9% of households earning less than $30,000 annually.
As the pandemic continues, Americans are growing more worried.
Nearly all households that have seen a decline in income because of the pandemic, 95%, are worried about yet another hit in the coming months. And it isn’t just those who have already suffered. Of households that did not see any negative impact on their finances, 75% say they are worried about seeing one in the coming months.
“The vast majority of Americans are worried about a hit to their household income in the coming months due to the pandemic,” McBride said. “This widespread worry and hesitancy to spend will weigh on the pace of economic recovery.”