About Half Of U.S. Homes Lost Wages During Pandemic, Census Bureau Finds

People wait in a long line to receive a food bank donation at the Barclays Center on May 15 in Brooklyn, N.Y. Across the country, cities and towns are dealing with the highest unemployment rates since the Great Depression. Stephanie Keith/Getty Images hide caption

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Stephanie Keith/Getty Images

People wait in a long line to receive a food bank donation at the Barclays Center on May 15 in Brooklyn, N.Y. Across the country, cities and towns are dealing with the highest unemployment rates since the Great Depression.

Stephanie Keith/Getty Images

The coronavirus pandemic has taken a hit in the paychecks of close to half of U.S. households, the Census Bureau says.

Since March 13, 47% of adults say they — or another adult in their home — have lost employment income, while 39% say they’re expecting their households to earn less from work over the next four weeks.

With the first of the month coming in less than two weeks, more than a fifth of adults report they have just slight or no confidence in their ability to make their next rent or mortgage payment on time.

The findings come from a new weekly survey the bureau rolled out last month to try to gauge how the outbreak is altering lives in the U.S.

More than two months into the pandemic, the first set of results of the Household Pulse Survey released Wednesday help illustrate how the coronavirus is taking a toll on people’s health as most of the country continues to shelter at home.

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Over the past four weeks, close to 4 in 10 adults say they have waited to get medical care because of the pandemic.

The Census Bureau surveyed more than 74,000 households through online questionnaires between April 23 and May 5 for its first batch of findings. The bureau developed the questions for this $1.2 million experimental survey with the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Department of Housing and Urban Development and other federal agencies.

The bureau, which is also conducting the ongoing 2020 census, says it’s planning to continue sending emails from COVID.survey@census.gov — as well as text messages from 39242 — with links to the Household Pulse Survey through mid-July.

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