Census: Household Pulse Survey shows 26.4% Missed or Expect to Miss Rent or Mortgage Payment

First, from @ernietedeschi
Household Pulse Survey

Employment in the @uscensusbureau Household Pulse Survey fell by -4.1 million last week alone.

That’s a cumulative loss of -6.7 million jobs between the reference weeks used for the June & July monthly jobs report.

Seasonality and survey noise may be factors here — the HPS is a new, experimental survey with limited history.

However it also did an admirable job of predicting the strong employment growth in June.

This graph is from Ernie Tedeschi (former US Treasury economist).

CR Note on above graph: The Pulse Survey doesn’t align exactly with the BLS reference week. The release today is for July 9th – July 14th, and the release next week will be for the period July 16th – July 21th. The BLS reference week is the 12th – 18th.

Also note on the question below on lost income is always since March 13, 2020 – so this percentage will not decline – but might increase.

From the Census Bureau: Measuring Household Experiences during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic

The U.S. Census Bureau, in collaboration with five federal agencies, is in a unique position to produce data on the social and economic effects of COVID-19 on American households. The Household Pulse Survey is designed to deploy quickly and efficiently, collecting data to measure household experiences during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Data will be disseminated in near real-time to inform federal and state response and recovery planning.

Data collection for the Household Pulse Survey began on April 23, 2020. The Census Bureau will collect data for 90 days, and release data on a weekly basis.

This will be updated weekly, and the Census Bureau released the recent survey results today. This survey asks about Loss in Employment Income, Expected Loss in Employment Income, Food Scarcity, Delayed Medical Care, Housing Insecurity and K-12 Educational Changes.

Household Pulse Survey Click on graph for larger image.

The data was collected between July 9 and July 14, 2020.


Loss in employment income: “Percentage of adults in households where someone had a loss in employment income since March 13, 2020.”

This number is since March 13, and has increased to 50.1% from 47% in the initial survey.

Expected Loss in Employment Income: “Percentage of adults who expect someone in their household to have a loss in employment income in the next 4 weeks.”

35.1% of households expect a loss in income over the next 4 weeks.   This is down from 38.8% in late April, but up from 31% four weeks ago.   This might suggest the job gains stalled after the data was collected for the June employment report.

Food Scarcity: Percentage of adults in households where there was either sometimes or often not enough to eat in the last 7 days.

10.8% of households report food scarcity.  This has increased slightly since March.

Delayed Medical Care: “Percentage of adults who delayed getting medical care because of the COVID-19 pandemic in the last 4 weeks.”

40.6% of households report they delayed medical care over the last 4 weeks. This increased slightly from last week.

Housing Insecurity: “Percentage of adults who missed last month’s rent or mortgage payment, or who have slight or no confidence that their household can pay next month’s rent or mortgage on time.”

26.4% of households reported they missed last month’s rent or mortgage payment (or little confidence in making this month’s payment).  This has increased from a low of 22.1% in the survey of June 4th – June 9th.

Without an extension of the extra unemployment benefits, we will likely see a significant increase in housing stress.

K-12 Educational Changes: “Percentage of adults in households with children in public or private school, where classes were taught in a distance learning format, or changed in some other way.”

Essentially all households with children are reporting were not being taught in a normal format.