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How the pandemic widened the gap between the rich and poor

How the pandemic widened the gap between America’s rich and poor: 40% of upper income households are better off but 32% of lower-earning homes are in a worse financial situation and 1 in 10 say they’ll never recover

  • A new study by Pew Research Center asked Americans if they were worse or better off than this time last year 
  • Among households earning $118,000 or more, 40 percent said better and 11 percent said worse
  • It was the opposite for households earning $38,000 or less – 32 percent said they were worse off, and 22 percent said they were better off 
  • Only 23 percent of all income tiers said they saved more money than usual
  • Among those who had job or wages cut, 44 percent said it will take them 3 years or more to recover
  • One in ten of those who lost wages or jobs said they would never recover  

The pandemic widened the gap between America’s rich and poor, with 40 percent of upper-income households saying they are now in a better financial position than before, while 32 percent of lower-earning families say they are now worse off.  

Pew Research Center released a report on Friday that examined the financial hardships felt across the country over the last year. 

Among upper income households – those which earn more than $116,800 – 39 percent said they were better off. 

They listed not being able to travel, and not being able to spend money leisurely as the reasons. Only 11 percent of them said they were worse off than before. 

Lower income households – anyone earning below $38,900 – had more difficulty; 22 percent were said they were better off and 31 percent said they were worse off. 

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Pew Research Center released a report on Friday that examined the financial hardships felt across the country over the last year.

Pew Research Center released a report on Friday that examined the financial hardships felt across the country over the last year.

Pew Research Center released a report on Friday that examined the financial hardships felt across the country over the last year.

Among those who said they were now in worse financial position, 44 percent said it would take them three years or more to get back to where they were in 2019. 

Alarmingly, one in ten said they would never recover financially.  

Among middle-income households – earning between $38,900 and $116,90 – 32 percent said they were better off, and 18 percent said they were worse off. 

By and large, the financial situation for most households stayed the same. 

Among lower income households, 46 percent felt no change and that number was 49 percent for middle income families and 46 percent for lower income. 49 percent for middle income and 50 percent for upper income.

The survey also asked if people had been able to save more, less or the same amount of money as they did before. 

People at Ponquogue Beach in Hampton Bay, New York, September 12 2020. House prices in the Hamptons have soared as the rich rushed out of New York City

People at Ponquogue Beach in Hampton Bay, New York, September 12 2020. House prices in the Hamptons have soared as the rich rushed out of New York City

People at Ponquogue Beach in Hampton Bay, New York, September 12 2020. House prices in the Hamptons have soared as the rich rushed out of New York City 

By contrast, people were seen turning out at food n the organization's history - and it's believed it served even more this week

By contrast, people were seen turning out at food n the organization's history - and it's believed it served even more this week

By contrast, people were seen turning out at food n the organization’s history – and it’s believed it served even more this week

Among the rich, 32 percent said they saved more, 17 percent said they saved less and 50 percent said they saved the same amount

Among middle income families, 22 percent said they saved more, 31 percent said they saved less and 46 percent said they saved the same amount.

Among lower income families, 16 percent saved more 47 percent saved less and 34 percent saved the same.

Across all income-tiers, 23 percent saved more, 31 percent saved less and 45 percent saved the same amount.  

The survey asked 10,300 households across the country so is a snapshot of the wider picture. 

The situation is starkly different when examining the people who suffered wage or job losses.

Of them, a huge 62 percent said it would now be more difficult for them to achieve their financial goals because of the pandemic.

Among people who didn’t lose any jobs or money, 40 percent said it would be more difficult but 50 percent said it was no less or more difficult.  

The economic hardship caused by the pandemic will far outlive the virus itself. 

Unemployment rose to 14.8 percent in April 2020 – the highest it had been since the Great Recession.


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bourbiza

Bourbiza Mohamed. Writer and Political Discourse Analysis.

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