Standard of Living

In December, 38% of all households — 90 million nationwide — reported difficulty paying for usual expenses.

Half or more of Black and Hispanic households reported having difficulty paying for expenses.

Standard of Living

Nine and a half percent of US adults faced housing insecurity in December.

As many as 18% of adults in Louisiana had missed last month’s rent or mortgage payment or were uncertain they could make the next one. The rate was lowest in Utah, at 4%.

Standard of Living

Half of households lost employment income during the pandemic. However, because of increased government support like unemployment insurance and other aid, personal income rose in aggregate nationwide in 2020.

Sixteen percent of households relied on borrowing from friends and family to meet their needs, and 20% relied on stimulus payments. The government made 162 million impact payments in the first round of stimulus checks, with an average value of $1,676.

Standard of Living

Occupations with median wages below the national median lost 8% of their jobs in 2020. Occupations above the median wage lost 3%.

Nearly half — 46% — of personal care workers lost their jobs, as did 24% of food preparation workers. An exception was employment in healthcare support, such as home health aides and medical assistants, which despite having a low median wage compared to other occupations, experienced job growth of 32% compared to the yearly growth rate of 5% for the past 15 years.

Standard of Living

Before the pandemic, middle-class families (the middle 20% of income earners) averaged $49,000 in market income from sources including wages, investments, and retirement.

That's $4,000 less than in 2000 when adjusted for inflation — with a greater proportion coming from retirement savings like pensions and 401(K)s.

Standard of Living

Prior to the pandemic, the poverty rate decreased from 15% in 2010 to 10.5% in 2019, the lowest it had been since 1980.

The rate fell from 27.4% in 2010 to 18.8% in 2019 for Black people and 26.5% to 15.7% for Hispanic people. 

Standard of Living

The wealth of the middle 20% of income earners has grown 66% since 1990.

However, because middle class wealth has grown slower than overall wealth, middle class families went from owning 12% of wealth in 1990 to 7% in 2020.

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