Census: Household Pulse Survey shows 34.9% of Households Expect Loss in Income

First, from @ernietedeschi
Household Pulse Survey

Employment in the @uscensusbureau Household Pulse Survey fell another -1.3 million last week alone. It’s now fallen -2.6 million cumulatively over the past 3 weeks.

Seasonality & survey noise may be factors, but the HPS did an excellent job of anticipating the June jobs report.

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

Note: The question 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 2 and July 7, 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 49.9% 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.”

34.9% of households expect a loss in income over the next 4 weeks.   This is down from 38.8% in late April, but up from 32% two 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 been increasing slightly.

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

40.1% of households report they delayed medical care over the last 4 weeks. This has declined slightly.

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.”

25.3% 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 (expires at the end of July), 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.