Pandemic Hit Less-Educated Workers Hardest, Fed Survey Shows

A waiter at a New York restaurant on April 28. Three-fourths of U.S. adults reported doing at least okay financially in November 2020.



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Amir Hamja/Bloomberg News

WASHINGTON—The economic fallout from the coronavirus pandemic was concentrated among minorities, women and workers who hadn’t finished high school, according to a new survey from the Federal Reserve.

Three-fourths of U.S. adults reported doing at least okay financially in November 2020, a share that was unchanged from previous years, the Fed said Monday.

But that finding masked significant divergences in economic well-being between workers who retained their jobs and those who were laid off, households with more education and those with less, and those who have children versus those without.

Among adults with less than a high school degree, 45{ffaccff6b5e07cc1f8fb65d0cd045bc540f1c3f8348a05c16905532f0496f447} reported doing at least okay financially, down from 54{ffaccff6b5e07cc1f8fb65d0cd045bc540f1c3f8348a05c16905532f0496f447} in 2019. Among those with a bachelor’s degree or higher, the percentage rose to 89{ffaccff6b5e07cc1f8fb65d0cd045bc540f1c3f8348a05c16905532f0496f447} from 88{ffaccff6b5e07cc1f8fb65d0cd045bc540f1c3f8348a05c16905532f0496f447}, the Fed said in its annual Survey of Household Economics and Decisionmaking, which polls more than 11,000 individuals.

Write to Paul Kiernan at paul.kiernan@wsj.com

Corrections & Amplifications
The Federal Reserve released its economic survey on Monday. An earlier version of this article incorrectly said the survey was released Thursday. (Corrected on May 17, 2021)

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