Monday, January 11, 2021

31% Expect to Lose Employment Income Soon

The coronavirus pandemic is getting worse. Daily new cases, hospitalizations, and deaths are at all-time highs. The vaccine rollout is fatally slow. Cold weather and the winter surge has driven the public back into hiding. It should have come as no surprise, then, that nonfarm payroll employment fell by 140,000 in December, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. This is the first decline in payroll employment since April. 

It also should come as no surprise that a growing share of the public expects to lose employment income in the next four weeks (personally, or someone in their household). Thirty-one percent of Americans aged 18 or older have been telling the Census Bureau since mid-November that they expect to lose employment income soon, according to the Household Pulse Survey fielded December 9-21. The December job numbers prove them right.

Expect self or household member to lose employment income in next 4 weeks
Nov 11-Dec 21: 31% 
Sept 30-Oct 26: 24% (low)
April 23-May 5: 39% (high)

Source: Demo Memo analysis of the Census Bureau's Household Pulse Survey

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