According to a new national poll, almost 40% of Americans say they have experienced serious financial problems in the past few months and almost 70% are worried about their children falling behind in school.
After growing optimism over the summer that the worst of the pandemic was over, the resurgence of the virus with the ultra-contagious Delta variant has halted the march to normal in some cases – especially when it s These are households struggling with financial difficulties. .
Reports of economic hardship come even as 67% of households surveyed said they had received financial assistance from the government in recent months.
And it’s not just the pain in the wallet: Respondents said they were also worried about their children falling behind in school after a year of lockdown and intermittent reopening of schools in some cases.
Last year, 69% of households with children in kindergarten to grade 12 reported that their children had fallen behind in learning because of the coronavirus. Of these, 36% said their children were “very behind”.
Sentiments have not improved for this school year: Among households who said their children fell behind last year, 70% say it will be difficult for their children to catch up on what they missed, according to the survey.
The poll, conducted by Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health in conjunction with NPR and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, surveyed 3,616 American adults from August 2 through September 7.
“While Americans have largely received government assistance during the COVID-19 outbreak, millions of people still have very serious problems with their finances, their health care and their children’s education,” he said. said Robert J. Blendon, co-director of the survey and professor of public health at Harvard.
Meanwhile, not all households report experiencing severe pain: Among those with annual household incomes below $50,000, 59% reported facing serious financial problems. The figure drops to 18% when it comes to households with incomes above $50,000, according to the survey.
In low-income households, Blendon said, the pain is particularly acute as many have lost their savings and have nothing left to fall back on.
The poll comes as Americans of all financial stripes are struggling financially with soaring prices for a variety of everyday products. Some measures of inflation are stuck at their highest level in 30 years.
Economists, meanwhile, say the labor market still has a long way to go to recover, especially after two months of worse-than-expected readings on the number of jobs created in the United States.
Nearly 2.6 million Americans continued to receive traditional state unemployment benefits as of Thursday, according to federal statistics.