US Households Struggles Continue to Return to Normal

Date Published: 
November 18th, 2021

The Center for Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP) released an updated reportTracking the COVID-19 Economy’s Effects on Food, Housing, and Employment Hardships, which shows that key hardship indicators fell especially fast after the enactment of the American Rescue Plan on March 11, 2021, which included $1,400 payments for most Americans as well as other assistance to struggling households. Food hardship among adults with children also fell after the federal government began issuing monthly payments of the expanded Child Tax Credit on July 15, along with improvements in food assistance. However, using data from the Census Bureau and Department of Labor, CBPP reveals that even as employment is rising and household budgets are beginning to recover, the national employment rate remains below pre-pandemic levels, and millions still report food shortages and delinquent rent payments.  

CBPP analysis of household data collected between September 29-October 11 found that:  

  • Nearly 1 in 8 adults with children lacked sufficient food  

  • Households of color were more likely to report a lack sufficient food during the pandemic (White 6%, Asian 5%, Black 17%, Latino 16%) 

  • 1 in 6 renters are not caught up on rent during the pandemic, with renters of color facing the greatest hardship (White 12%, Asian 20%, Black 28%, Latino 18%) 

  • Black and Latino workers have experienced a far slower jobs recovery than white workers; Approximately 7.9 percent of Black workers and 6.3 percent of Latino workers were unemployed in September, compared to 4.2 percent of White workers 

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